The Academy Team

THE ACADEMY MANAGEMENT TEAM

Joel Waldron
Academy Director

Appointed to the role of Academy Director in June 2018, Joel has overall responsibility for the Academy and each of its Recruitment, Coaching, Sports Science and Medicine, Education and Welfare, Operations, Analytics, and Safeguarding sub-departments.

Joel joined Everton in a full-time capacity in 2011 as Academy Coordinator, having previously supported the Recruitment department set-up on a part-time basis.  Within three years he was promoted to the position of Head of Academy Operations and was responsible for the management of the Academy programme and daily operations at USM Finch Farm. 

Throughout his time at the Club, Joel has worked closely with previous Academy Directors to deliver the Academy’s operational and strategic targets across all areas, and has held a prominent position on the Academy’s Management Team.

Joel assumed the position of Academy Chief Operating Officer in April 2017 before being confirmed as Academy Manager at the start of the 2017/18 season. He was then promoted to Academy Director in June 2018 and joined the Club's Leadership Team. In this role, he will draw upon his in-depth knowledge of the minutiae of the workings of each area to enhance and maintain the first-class development programme with which Everton’s Academy has become synonymous.

Born and raised on Merseyside, Joel is a lifelong Evertonian.

David Unsworth
Under-23s Manager and Director of Coaching

David Unsworth had two spells at Everton as a player before returning for a third time in a coaching capacity in September 2013.

The Goodison favourite took up a position within the Club’s Under-23s setup alongside his former teammate Alan Stubbs, before full-time taking control of the team at the start of the 2014/15 campaign.

Unsworth’s time to date as head coach of the Under-23s, a number young players progressed to make their first-team debuts for Everton.

These include Brendan Galloway, Gethin Jones, Kieran Dowell, Matthew Pennington, Callum Connolly, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Tom Davies.

Unsworth led the young Blues to the Premier League 2 title in 2016/17, with his side finishing with an impressive 48 points from their 22 games.

In 2018/19, Unsworth once again led his Under-23s side to the Premier League 2 title and topped a glorious season by also securing the Premier League Cup with a 1-0 win over Newcastle United at Goodison Park in the final of the competition.

Unsworth started his career with the Blues and made his way through the youth system before making his debut away at Tottenham in April 1992.

Unsworth found first team chances hard to come by and it wasn't until Joe Royle's appointment as manager that he cemented a place in the starting XI. He was part of the 1995 FA Cup Final winning team against Manchester United but he later departed for West Ham in a swap deal for Danny Williamson at the start of the 1997/98 season.

Unsworth's time in the capital would be brief and he returned north after only one season, signing for Aston Villa for £3m. His time at Villa Park would be even shorter though, and he returned to Goodison Park without ever making an appearance for the Villans.

He remained at Goodison Park for a further six seasons playing regularly under both Walter Smith and then David Moyes. Indeed, following the appointment of Moyes as manager, the defender scored the first goal of the new era after 27 seconds against Fulham as the Blues started with a win.

At the start of the 2002 season Unsworth was granted a testimonial against Athletic Bilbao to mark his long service for the club but his time at Goodison would soon come to an end as he departed for Portsmouth in 2004.

Unsworth fell out of favour at Fratton Park and spent the remainder of the 2004/05 season on loan at Ipswich before signing a three-year deal with Sheffield United in 2005.

After helping the Blades secure promotion to the Premier League he soon left for Wigan and in a cruel twist of fate he scored the penalty that kept the Latics in the top flight - condemning the Blades to the Championship in the process.

After spells with Burnley and Huddersfield he retired from football in 2009 but moved into coaching with Preston North End as development coach before becoming first team coach at Deepdale.

Following the appointment of Graham Westley as managed he was deemed surplus to requirements and subsequently took up a role at former club Sheffield United. Unsworth was named as assistant to Chris Morgan for the remainder of the 2012/13 season before departing when former Everton teammate David Weir took charge of the Blades.

In September 2013 he returned back home to Goodison to become assistant manager of the Under-21 side under another former teammate in Stubbs.

And the following summer when Stubbs was appointed ad Hibernian boss, Unsworth took up the mantle of leading the Under-23s in the interim period before assuming the position on a permanent basis.

Sean Lundon
Head of Academy Coaching

Sean was a regular Everton reserve team player in the former Central League during Everton Football Club’s most successful period in the mid 1980s. After playing league football, Sean joined the Everton Academy coaching staff in 1999. He has worked with all age groups within the Academy from the Development Centres, Under-9’s and right through to Under-18 level. Sean was the Youth Development Phase Lead for seven years, he was joint Head of Coaching overseeing the U14-U18 coach rotation for two years and has been the Interim Assistant Heading of Coaching for the past 12 months. 

Sean has worked with many Everton Academy players who made their debuts for Everton’s first team, played international football and forged careers in the professional game. He has mentored young coaches and seen them progress through the Everton Academy system to become lead coaches themselves and first team coaches. In addition, he is proud of the relationships he has maintained with players who never quite made it within professional football but have gone on to go be fine role models in other walks of life. 

Sean has a combined first-class honours degree in Sports Science and Psychology. He holds the Premier League Academy Manager’s License, UEFA A licence and was a member of the first cohort to recently complete the new Premier League funded Diploma in Elite Coaching. 

Sean has overseen the CPD of the coaching staff and has been heavily involved in the development of the Academy programme and curriculum over the last few years. As a lifelong Evertonian, he is proud to represent the club and to be given the opportunity and responsibility as Head of Academy Coaching. 

John McKeown
Head of Academy Sports Science and Medicine

John is responsible for the Academy Sports Science and Medicine sub-departments including Physiotherapy, Strength and Conditioning, Nutrition, Psychology and Performance Analysis.

John joined Everton in 2009, having spent 12 years in first team roles at Stoke City, Portsmouth and Derby County. Prior to this John was a Leading Physical Training Instructor the Royal Navy for seven years. Since joining the Club as the Academy Fitness Coach, he has been promoted twice. First to the Head of Academy Sports Science in 2013 before taking on his current role in 2015.  

John works closely with his sub-department leads to create and deliver strategic objectives targets across all areas of sports science and medicine. He also holds a position on the Academy Management Team.

John is a lifelong Evertonian.

Julie Lloyd
Head of Safeguarding

Julie leads a team of staff whose responsibility it is to safeguard all children and vulnerable groups participating in activities at Everton Football Club. Everton Academy is a priority area for the Safeguarding Team. 

Julie and her team’s daily presence at the Academy ensures players and parents are able to talk to them when needed. Additionally, Julie oversees the Host Family and Academy Mentoring schemes.

After previously working in the Safeguarding department, Julie took up her current role in June 2019.

THE COACHING TEAM

- LEAD COACHES

Sean Lundon
Head of Academy Coaching

See profile above.

Paul Tait 
U18 Head Coach

As a 16-year-old Paul relocated from Newcastle to Merseyside to join Everton’s youth system. After his time as a scholar and reserve player with the Blues, Paul moved on to play league football for an impressive list of clubs including Wigan, Crewe and Bristol Rovers. Paul cites playing and scoring goals in the Championship as a highlight of his playing career. 

Whilst still playing professional football, Paul would use his day off from training each week at Everton Football Academy and developing his coaching skills for his future career. During this time, he worked with the Under-15 Milk Cup-winning team which included current first-team players such as Ross Barkley and Matthew Pennington. 

Paul’s professional focus is to develop Under-18 players both on and off the field, supporting them to achieve professional contracts and grow to become well-rounded young people. 

Paul has coached at the Academy since 2006 and holds a UEFA A License, Advanced Youth Award and a FA Level 5 Award in Advanced Psychology. He is currently working towards the English FA UEFA PRO Licence.

Simon Jennings 
U13-U16 Phase Lead

Simon’s link with Everton Football Club began in the mid-1980s when he played here as a schoolboy. His coaching journey began in 2003 as Director of Coaching at Bobby Charlton Soccer Academy, he then worked as an Academy Coach for Bolton Wanderers for three seasons. 

Subsequently, Simon moved back to Everton Academy during the 2006/7 season. During this time he worked with the U13 group which featured players such as Ross Barkley and Tyias Browning. Simon’s career then took him to Qatar for a decade gaining valuable experience of coaching in an elite environment and dealing with various cultures and nationalities. 

During these six years at Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence, Simon coached all age groups from U12 to U19 including representing Qatar as the National Coach of the U14 age category. Upon leaving Aspire in 2013, he joined Lekhwiya Sports Club and was tasked with designing and developing their youth coaching program for the next 4 years to develop players for the 1st team and the Qatar National team.  Simon took on various roles at the club, including U17 Coach, U19 Coach and Head Coach of the reserve team (U23).  He also became a Coach Educator for the Qatar Football Association. 

Simon holds the UEFA Pro Licence since 2013 and the FA Academy Managers Licence. He returned to Everton Academy in August 2017 and holds the position of Academy U13-U16 Phase Lead Coach.

Tom Kearney
U9-U12 Phase Lead

Tom spent 11 years at Everton's Academy, joining as a schoolboy at the age of seven and subsequently moving to Bradford City when he was 19 years old. Tom’s footballing career also led him to captain Altrincham, Wrexham and Halifax Town. 

Tom cites his career highlight as being when he signed for Bradford City; he puts this down to the positive impact of playing in front of 25,000 people at Valley Parade in the Championship after having experienced the contrasting disappointment of being released from an academy system. As such, in his current role, Tom has a finely-tuned awareness of the emotional rollercoaster of elite football. 

Before returning to Everton as a full-time coach, Tom spent two years coaching soccer in Boston, working as part of a team to develop players between the ages of eight and 18 years old. Tom holds a UEFA A License, an Advanced Youth Award and the ECAS (Elite Coaching Apprenticeship Scheme) Diploma. 

Paul Bennett
U5-U8 Phase Lead

Upon leaving school Paul signed a professional contract for Port Vale FC, making his debut for the Club two years later. After a four-year spell at Port Vale, Paul made the move to Northwich Victoria where he began a non-league playing career, one which continued until he was 39 years old.

Paul describes scoring at Wembley in the FA Trophy as the highlight of his playing career, having played twice there during his time with Northwich Victoria.

Formerly a coach at Tranmere Rovers Centre of Excellence and latterly, coaching for eight years at Crewe Alexandra, Paul was invited to join the coaching staff at Everton Academy in 2006.

As U5-U8 Phase Lead, Paul’s main role is to ensure boys and their parents enjoy their experience at Everton Academy and develop a love for the Club which leads them to progress to become an Academy player. Paul holds an FA Advanced Youth Award.

- ACADEMY COACHES

Keith Southern
U18 Coach

Kevin O’Brien
U18 Goalkeeping Coach

Having trained with Everton as a schoolboy, Kev went on to play in an impressive 813 games in 13 years at a semi-professional level with Marine F.C.

As a player, Kev’s career highlight was reaching the third round of the FA Cup in the 1992/93 season.

Kev began his career as a coach with Everton in the Community, working with children from local schools. In 1998 he was invited to move from the Community to become a coach at the newly-established Everton Academy.

As well as having worked with the England Under-18 squad, Kev has also been involved with two Premier League-winning Everton Under-18 sides.

Another highpoint of his coaching career was seeing the Everton Under-18s win the Dallas Cup.

Kev holds both the UEFA Goalkeeping A License and the FA Goalkeeping A License, as well as the FA Advanced Youth Award.

Phil Jevons
U16 Head Coach

In 1993 Phil joined Everton’s Centre of Excellence and his progression through the age groups culminated in him making nine Premier League appearances with the Club's first team. 

Phil’s career continued in the Championship and League One, where he played with several clubs including Grimsby Town, Yeovil Town, Bristol City and Huddersfield Town AFC. Phil made over 500 league appearances in his playing career.

One of Phil’s career highlights as a player involved knocking Liverpool out of the League Cup by scoring in the 119th minute to secure a 2-1 win for Grimsby. A close second was being part of league-winning sides with Bristol City and Yeovil Town.

Phil’s return to the Everton Academy has seen him coaching across the Academy phases. He now coaches Under-15 players, working with them to support their all-round development and helping them in their bid to gain a scholarship.

Phil has been coaching for six years and holds the UEFA A License and the FA Advanced Youth Award.

Colin Littlejohns 
U15 Head Coach

As a schoolboy, Colin played and trained with Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Luton Town. Making the move to Cambridge United after leaving school, he made his league debut as a 17-year-old, spending three seasons at the club. After leaving Cambridge, Colin had spells at Telford United, Southport, Oswestry Town and Caernarfon Town.

Colin’s career highlight as a player was being part of the Cambridge United team that beat the then First Division leaders, Wimbledon, over two legs in the Littlewoods Cup.

Before coming to Everton as a full-time coach, Colin spent three years coaching at Wrexham FC and nine years at the renowned Crewe Alexandra Football Academy.

Colin has held the English equivalent of the UEFA A License for 16 years. He also holds the Academy Managers' Licence, FA Advanced Youth Award and FA Psychology Level 5 qualifications.

Lewis Nightingale 
U14 Head Coach

Lewis progressed through the youth system at Huddersfield Town from the age 6 to then be awarded with a professional contract at 18 joining the first team squad. He then went onto to play semiprofessionally for Bradford Park Avenue, Darlington 1883 and Farsley Celtic before leaving his playing career in order to join Everton. 

Lewis started his coaching journey at Bradford City where he was appointed Lead Phase Foundation Coach, and after 3 years in the role he progressed to Lead Youth Phase Coach.

He was then appointed a Full-time Academy Coach with Everton and draws on his experiences as a player to help mentor and develop young talent.

Lewis holds an FA Advanced Youth award and is working towards his UEFA A Licence.

John Miles
U13 Head Coach

From a young age, John was involved in both the Everton and Liverpool youth systems, later signing a professional contract for Liverpool.

John then made the move to Stoke City, making his league debut a month later. John's playing career then took him to Crewe, Accrington and Macclesfield, where he played over 100 games.

John’s time on loan at MK Dons saw him win League Two with the club, in what was the highlight of his playing career.

John became a coach with Liverpool FC in 2011 and joined Everton three years later. John is currently working towards his FA Advanced Youth Award.

Scott Phelan
U12 Head Coach

Scott’s relationship with Everton Football Club began in 1997 when he joined the Club’s Under-9 group after a successful six-week trial, having been scouted from a local grass roots football team. Scott went on to represent each age group right through from the Under-9s to the then Everton Reserves.

After leaving Everton as a player, Scott enjoyed spells at Bradford City, Halifax Town and Kidderminster Harriers FC before returning to the Club as a full-time coach in 2012.

Scott can remember several high points of his time as a player: signing a professional contract with Everton Football Club aged 17; representing England at Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 level; making his Football League debut aged 19. These lived experiences enable Scott to understand the journey of young players at the Academy and the characteristics needed to progress in youth football.

Scott holds an FA Youth Award and is currently working towards his UEFA A License. He recently graduated from the Premier League Elite Coach Apprenticeship Scheme.

Paris Bateman
U11 Head Coach

Paris progressed through the youth system at Crewe Alexandra from the age 14, after spending time at Everton as a youngster, to then be awarded with a professional contract at 18 joining the first team squad. He then went onto to play semi-professionally for Stockport County before spending time in Canada playing for KW United and Toronto FC.

Paris started his coaching journey at Crewe Alexandra at the age of 16 whilst still playing professionally. He was appointed Lead Phase Foundation Coach at the age of 22 whilst, at the same time, continuing to coach the U16 age group. Paris was then appointed a Full-time Academy Coach with Everton and draws on his experiences as a player and coach to help mentor and develop young talent throughout various age groups.   

Paris holds an FA Youth award and is working towards his UEFA A Licence.

Peter Cavanagh
U10 Head Coach

Born an Evertonian, Peter spent his formative years on the other side of the city. At the age of 19 and having spent 10 years in the Liverpool FC youth system, he left to embark on his senior career with Accrington Stanley FC.

An eight-season period at Stanley was to follow, where Peter became their youngest ever captain. During this time, Peter lead the club to promotion back to the Football League, an experience that he regards as his playing career highlight. Further spells at Fleetwood and Rochdale followed with Peter amassing over 330 appearances and four promotions before his retirement as a player.

Having always been a student of the game, Peter became involved with Liverpool’s junior teams at the age of 22 allowing him to gain coaching experience while he was still a player. Peter jumped at the chance when Everton came calling in 2015, and is now dedicated to supporting young players progress through the Academy. He holds an Advanced Youth Award in coaching.

Harry Clayton
U9s Head Coach

Harry progressed through the youth system at Crewe Alexandra from the age 7, he was awarded with a professional contract at 18 where he spent two years with the first team squad. He then went onto to play semi-professionally for Nantwich Town for a number of years before joining the coaching staff at Everton FC. 

He started his coaching journey at Crewe Alexandra at the age of 18 whilst still playing professionally. He was appointed acting Lead Phase Foundation Coach at the age of 24 whilst, at the same time, continuing to assist the U16 age group. 

Harry was then appointed a Full-time Academy Coach with Everton and draws on his experiences as a player and coach to help mentor and develop young talent throughout various age groups.

He holds a UEFA B licence, FA Youth award and is working towards his Advanced Youth Award.

Francisco Belo
Technical Analyst

Francisco joined Everton as a Coaching Intern in 2015 as part of his MSc in Sports Coaching with Liverpool John Moores University. 

He was subsequently awarded a part-time position working under the Academy Head of Coaching in restructuring the Academy’s football programme and playing philosophy. Francisco was later offered a full-time position as a Technical Analyst for the Coaching Department, providing support to the development of the overall football programme. 

Originally from Lisbon (Portugal), Francisco has previously worked as an Academy Coach for the Portuguese sides SL Benfica and CF Os Belenenses. He also holds a BSc in Sports Science with a Minor in Football Coaching from the University of Lisbon.

Joe Peterson
Youth Development Goalkeeping Coach

Joe joined the Academy in the summer of 2013 and is in his fourth season coaching at the Club. Prior to coaching at Everton, Joe spent eight years at Liverpool FC, initially as a youth goalkeeper and then as a Goalkeeping Coach in the Academy. 

Following his release by Liverpool, he also played non-league football whilst completing his A-levels, before going on to study Business Management at Liverpool University.

Alongside his coaching, Joe is also a qualified secondary school teacher, but stopped teaching at the end of 2015 when his role at the Academy became full-time.

Joe works with all the goalkeepers in the Academy and the thing he enjoys most about coaching is seeing players being rewarded for their hard work and dedication by progressing from the Academy into the professional game. 

He holds a UEFA B Coaching Licence, FA Goalkeeping Coaching B Licence and will shortly undertake the FA Advanced Youth Award in Coaching Goalkeepers. 

THE RECRUITMENT TEAM

Ian Lavery
Academy Local Recruitment Manager

Ian has been involved with Everton since 1999, taking on a full-time role in the Recruitment department in September 2004. Ian’s experience at the Academy has primarily involved recruitment and Pre-Academy operations but he also spent time as an U10 Coach during his first full season. 

Ian’s current role is Local Recruitment Manager, which entails the coordination of all recruitment staff involved in the North-West grass roots leagues. His department is responsible for all Pre-Academy events including tournaments and festivals. Ian also holds the responsibility of Academy Tour Coordinator. 

Ian is a lifelong Everton who has a BA with honours in Sport & Physical education, Primary PGCE and a UEFA B Coaching award.

Paul Johnson
Academy Professional Recruitment Manager

Managing the Professional Youth Recruitment section of Academy, it is Paul’s job to oversee the National and International strategy for the Academy.  

Joining the club in March 2017 from Chelsea FC Paul has a wealth of experience within Youth Recruitment and works closely with the Academy Management Team to support the Academy strategy and compliment the established and well-regarded local recruitment project at Everton Football Club.

John McNabb
Academy Local Recruitment Officer (Merseyside)

John Joined Everton Academy in June 2017 as Academy Local Recruitment Officer for Merseyside.  

John had previously worked for Liverpool Football Club for almost fourteen years as a Recruitment Officer, before moving to Manchester United in the same role for seven years. He is now pursuing his scouting career at his boyhood club, Everton. 

John brought the likes of Raheem Sterling and John Flanagan to Liverpool Football Club and he hopes to continue his success, attracting all the best players from Merseyside to Everton Football Club. 

John is a lifelong Evertonian and is delighted to have a career here at Everton Academy.

Sam Bailey
Academy Recruitment Operations Manager

Sam joined the Academy Recruitment Department in June 2013 and was promoted to the role of Academy Recruitment Operations Manager in February 2017. He is responsible for looking after the many processes, systems and administration in the Recruitment department to ensure it can run as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Sam spent 4 years studying at Fairfield University in America whilst playing football on a scholarship. He returned home with BSc in Business Management and joined Everton from a software company in the automotive sector.

Ray Redmond
Pre-Academy and Events Coordinator

Following five years of voluntary and casual work at the Academy, Ray came on board as fulltime member of the Recruitment team in July 2008.  

Ray is responsible for overseeing the Academy Development Centre Programme and the delivery of recruitment events across the North-West. Through his role, Ray engages with key external and internal stakeholders to promote the Academy and its reputation as the “go to club”.   

Ray’s success in his role is attributable to his extended knowledge of local schools and junior leagues. He has developed a skill set to talent ID, develop elite players and an ability to mentor coaches.

Nicola Woods
Academy Recruitment Administrator

Nicola has been with the Academy since September 2016, Nicola started her career at Everton Academy as a Level 3 Business Administrative Apprentice in the Academy Recruitment Department and has now successfully completed her apprenticeship, gaining a full-time position as the Academy Recruitment Administrator.  

Nicola previously Studied at St Julie’s Catholic High School where she gained 8 GCSEs. She then moved on to study a Level 3 Extended Diploma in sports at Everton Sixth Form. Here she gained important knowledge of football-related topics including physiology and anatomy, talent identification, events organisation and psychology for sports performance. 

Nicola is responsible for all general administration across the Academy Recruitment department, with a focus on Development Centre administration for USM Finch Farm and our six Outreach Centres across the North West. Nicola deals with player recommendations, events, scout communications, local league coverage reports and general information and data systems. 

Having progressed from Everton Football Club Sixth Form, through the Club’s apprenticeship scheme and having now secured a full-time role at the Academy, Nicola looks forward to continued career progression within the Academy.

THE SPORTS SCIENCE AND MEDICAL TEAM

John McKeown
Head of Academy Sports Science and Medicine

John is responsible for the Academy Sports Science and Medicine sub-departments including Physiotherapy, Strength and Conditioning and Nutrition.

John joined Everton in 2009, having spent 12 years in first team roles at Stoke City, Portsmouth and Derby County. Prior to this John was a Leading Physical Training Instructor the Royal Navy for seven years. 

Since joining the Club as the Academy Fitness Coach, he has been promoted twice. First to the Head of Academy Sports Science in 2013 before taking on his current role in 2015.  

John works closely with his sub-department leads to create and deliver strategic objectives targets across all areas of sports science and medicine. He also holds a position on the Academy Management Team.

John is a lifelong Evertonian.

- THE PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS TEAM

Andy Cowley
Academy Performance Analyst

Andy is a graduate of the Science and Football programme at Liverpool John Moores University. Andy began his journey at Everton Academy in the 2015/16 season as a Sports Science intern during his final year of study. He was subsequently awarded a senior intern position for the following season and was later offered a full-time position as an Academy Performance Analyst. 

Andy’s role as Academy Performance Analyst focuses on the U9-U16 age groups. His main tasks include: filming games; individually clipping games; managing Replay Analysis; producing statistical reports; creating motivational montages for coaches and players.  

When he was younger, Andy was a qualified referee and regularly officiated in games at USM Finch Farm for the U9-U18 age groups. Furthermore, Andy is a qualified goalkeeping coach and previously, in 2014/2015 season, assisted the Academy goalkeeping coaching staff in the delivery of sessions to Academy goalkeepers.

Kevin Reid
Academy Performance Analyst

Kevin first joined Everton as a General Sport Science intern during the 2013/14 season. Whilst interning, he completed BSc in Sports Science and MSc in Sports Physiology at Liverpool John Moores University.

Upon leaving Everton, Kevin continued his development at West Bromwich Albion’s Academy. He then went onto work at Wolverhampton Wanderers, and has also completed work for the Football Association and the British Paralympic Association. 

Kevin re-joined Everton in the 2015/16 season as an Academy Performance Analyst, focussing mainly on the U18 age group. Kevin also provides support to the other age groups and is responsible for the filming of academy matches and providing pre-match and post-match analysis to players and coaches.

- THE STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING TEAM

John Curtis-Noonan
Head Academy Strength & Conditioning Coach

John is the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Everton Academy, working as part of a multi-disciplinary team, focused on providing world class services and support to the next generation of premier league football players at Everton.

John has been accredited with the UK Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA) as a certified Strength and Conditioning Coach. He comes with a wealth of professional experience having previously worked across a range of high performance sports, including Rugby League, Rugby Union, Olympic Ski and Snowboard sports, after originally starting his coaching career in Football, with spells at Scunthorpe United and Chelsea FC.

John is currently undertaking an MPhil in Applied Sports Biomechanics at Liverpool John Moores University, researching sports physical demands, with special attention on the application of training methods to enhance competition performance.

Jack Dowling
Academy Strength & Conditioning Coach

Jack has been involved with Everton since he was 16 years old, initially, volunteering as a coach in the development centres. Jack holds a BSc in Science and Football from Liverpool John Moores University.  

During his time on this course, Jack was awarded a place on the Sports Science internship with Everton Academy. After his first year, he was subsequently rewarded with a senior internship role for a further season working with both the Academy and First Team. Subsequently, Jack was offered a full-time contract as an Academy Sport Scientist.

Jack’s current responsibilities extend across all age groups (U9-U18s), and include daily monitoring of the player tracking systems, group and individual strength and conditioning sessions, rehabilitation, and preparations before training and match days. Jack is currently studying for an MPhil in Sports and Exercise Science based on research conducted at Everton.

Nick Coleman
Academy Sports Science Analyst

As Academy Sports Science Analyst, Nick's main role at Everton Academy is to maximise physical development and improve player availability through injury prevention strategies. This will involve the analysis of physical data recorded from the GPS units and HR belts worn by the players.  

Prior to working at Everton Academy, Nick spent three seasons as First Team Sports Scientist at Crystal Palace, where his work focused on player and team physical performance, helping the coaches and players develop and improve through the analysis of data. Prior to his work with the First Team Nick spent a season working with Crystal Palace Academy assisting in the implementation of the sports science and strength and conditioning programs.

Nick also has an excellent understanding of sports injuries and rehabilitation having graduated as a Sports Therapist from the University of Central Lancashire in 2008. Subsequently, Nick went on to work with several rugby teams before completing a MSc in Strength and Conditioning in 2013 from St Mary’s University College, Twickenham. Nick is an accredited Sports Therapist and a qualified Strength and Conditioning Coach (CSCS).

- THE PHYSIOTHERAPY TEAM

Peter Beirne
Head Academy Physiotherapist

Having joined Everton Academy in 1995 as a part-time Physiotherapist, Peter assumed his current position as Head Academy Physiotherapist in 2014. He has also represented England and Great Britain as part of the medical team attending both the Commonwealth and Olympic Games.

Peter graduated from the Royal Liverpool Hospital College School of Physiotherapy in 1991. After initially working at Broadgreen Hospital Liverpool he later moved to the North Wales Sport Injury Clinic. In 1996 Peter took a full-time position at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and began to develop the Paediatric Orthopaedic Service to the Merseyside region. In 2004 he became the first extended scope practitioner working in paediatric orthopaedics. 

Peter continues to lecture nationally on paediatric development, orthopaedics and sport. He also presents the paediatric modules at Liverpool University. Peter has had numerous papers published on topics including haemophilia, club feet, adolescent knee pain and limb lengthening.

Joe Maden-Wilkinson
Academy Physiotherapist

In Joe’s role as Academy Physiotherapist, he is involved in all aspects of treatment, rehabilitation, and injury prevention for U9-18 players. Joe also oversees the assessment and treatment of all schoolboy players, managing the preventative rehabilitation strategies integrated into all schoolboy timetables.

Having gained experience with England Rugby, Sale Sharks and Munster, Joe undertook his undergraduate degree in Physiotherapy at Leeds Metropolitan University.  A spell at Fleetwood Town FC followed by a position in Academy Sports Science and Medicine at Blackpool FC.

Joe is currently undertaking an MSc in Sports Medicine at University of Central Lancashire. His current research interests include, paediatric injury rehabilitation, growth and maturation and the bio-psycho-social influences of rehabilitation and performance.

Josh Jeffrey
Academy Sports Therapist

Josh graduated as Sports Therapist from Edge Hill University and currently works with players from all age groups at the Academy. Josh’s main responsibilities include the assessment of injuries, the provision of rehabilitation, administration of treatment on and off the pitch and identifying risk factors for injury. 

Josh joined Everton in 2015 after previously spending two seasons working with the Academy and First Team at Burnley FC. Josh has also undertaken work placements at several football and rugby clubs including Liverpool FC, Blackpool FC and St Helens RLFC. 

Josh is currently working towards a Research Masters (MRes) at the University of Central Lancashire, and his research focuses on the use of diagnostic tools to prevent hamstring injuries in paediatric sport.

- THE NUTRITION TEAM

Dr Graeme Close
Head Performance Nutritionist

Graeme’s role at Everton Football Club is to lead the nutrition and dietician team which serves both Academy and First Team players. 

A former professional Rugby League player, Graeme is now a Professor at Liverpool John Moores University where he is the Programme Leader for the Masters degree in Sport Nutrition. His research focuses on using sport nutrition to maximize athletes’ performance, body composition and recovery. 

Graeme has published over 100 papers, review articles and book chapters as well as being invited to speak on sport nutrition across the world.

Graeme is an accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach (UKSCA), sports scientist (BASES) and registered sport nutritionist (SENr), making him the only person in the UK accredited with all 3 organisations. 

Graeme is currently the nutrition consultant to England Rugby, he consults to several Super League Rugby League Clubs, he is the lead nutritionist with British Ski and Snowboard and nutrition consultant to many European Tour Golfers. 

Marcus Hannon
Academy Performance Nutritionist PhD Practitioner

Marcus is a registered Sport Nutritionist (rSEN) and is currently the Performance Nutritionist PhD Practitioner at Everton Academy. 

He aims to use nutrition to improve health, support growth, promote adaptation and improve recovery in all age groups across the Academy. 

In addition to this role, Marcus is completing a PhD in conjunction with Liverpool John Moores University, investigating Sports Nutrition in elite youth football. This research will help inform his practice at Everton Academy.

Marcus completed his undergraduate degree in Nutrition and Sports Science at Oxford Brookes University and his Masters in Sports Nutrition at Liverpool John Moores University. 

He has previously worked at Oxford United FC as a Sport Scientist, at Wasps Rugby as the Academy Performance Nutritionist and at Ulster Rugby as the Academy Performance Nutritionist.

THE PLAYER CARE TEAM

Darren Murphy
Education Manager

Darren assumed the role of Education Manager in 2015. His primary responsibility is to oversee the educational and welfare needs of the U18 squad. Darren is one of the Everton Academy Mentoring Scheme’s twelve mentors and is also responsible for providing support to three Academy host families.

Darren’s day-to-day duties involve working closely with the Education and Welfare and Safeguarding departments.  

Prior to a career in education and sport, Darren worked within the petro-chemical engineering industry. After completing a PGCE, Darren began working in the secondary education sector as a PE teacher, Darren later assumed a part-time teaching role at Everton Academy, supporting the School Release programme. 

Darren is currently leading a new Academy initiative that aims to review and develop the player exit process, extending the support given to young players after their release.

Louise Prowse
Academy Personal Development Coordinator

Louise joined Everton Academy in 2016 after spending a number of years working at the Club as a freelance interpreter and translator.  

With a background in secondary education, Louise initially began work within the Academy’s Education and Welfare team where she undertook a player care and support role before assuming the position as Parent Education and Resource Coordinator. Joining the newly-formed Strategy department in June 2017, her role has expanded to incorporate the creation and management of a Player Personal Development Programme as well as elements of Academy media, marketing and communications. 

Louise’s role sees her liaising closely with key stakeholders from the Academy, USM Finch Farm and the wider Club to ensure an optimum experience for Academy players and parents. 

Louise is an Evertonian and supports the team at all home games.

Phil McQuaid
Welfare Officer

Phil is the Welfare Officer at Everton Academy. The purpose of this role is to support players’ welfare, whilst also engaging with parents, supporting communication, and improving their experience within the Academy. Phil is a mentor for the Everton Academy Mentoring Scheme and he provides support to three Academy host families.

Originally from Northern Ireland, Phil moved to Liverpool in 2010 to undertake BA (Hons) Sport Coaching Development and Physical Education course at Liverpool John Moores University. 

Phil’s initial interest in sport came from an early age where he actively competed at national level in long distance running. 

Prior to his current role, Phil was appointed as a personal tutor with the Premier League, assisting Scholars in their Level 3 BTEC in Sport. Along with tutoring, Phil held the position as Executive Director of Unstoppable Sports; an organisation that delivered CPD training in Physical Education to Primary Schools.

Dr Martin Littlewood
Head Performance Psychologist

Martin is a Principal Lecturer in Sport Psychology & Development and is also Head of the Football Exchange at Liverpool John Moores University.  

His research interests focus on applied sports psychology, specifically related to psychological development, identity and organisational culture. 

Martin has been an Accredited Sports Scientist (BASES) for over 10 years and more recently a Chartered Scientist (CSci) and has consulted in the professional football industry on a variety of projects.  

Martin’s work seeks to better understand the complexities associated with the critical, and often-uncomfortable moments and transitions that youth football players (and parents) experience within professional football.  

Martin’s role at Everton Academy is to oversee the Performance Psychology Programme.

Lewis Charnock
Academy Performance Psychologist PhD Practitioner

Lewis recently assumed the role as Everton Academy Performance Psychologist PhD Practitioner. This is Lewis’ third season with the Academy, having previously undertaken part-time roles within the psychology department.

Lewis' PhD centres around designing a psychological development programme that yields personal and performance excellence that better prepares young footballers to make the grade. He will also identify issues that contribute or prevent successful transitions of players through the age groups U9s to U23s.

Lewis completed both his BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Science and an MSc in Sport Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University. 

Alongside his role within the academy he is undergoing British Association of Sport & Exercise Sciences (BASES) Supervised Experience with the aspiration of qualifying as a Chartered Scientist within the next six months. 

In addition to his dual role with Everton and LJMU, Lewis is currently employed by Widnes Vikings RLFC providing psychological support on a consultancy basis to all academy players.

THE INFORMATION TEAM

Hannah Roberts
Academy Information Manager

Hannah joined Everton Academy in 2017 as Player Development Analyst. With a background in Economics and Statistics, her role is to develop and enhance data systems to support Academy player development. 

Prior to working at Everton Hannah developed data systems across a range of sectors, working at Edge Hill University, for the Welsh Government and for the North Wales Dragons Charity Football Team. 

Hannah lives in Wrexham and plays in the English Futsal League with Wrexham Futsal Ladies.

Chris Stenson
Project Manager

Chris joined Everton in November 2017 in the newly-created role of Academy Projects Manager.

Previously, Chris was a member of Deloitte’s Sports Business Group in Manchester, where he worked for a number of years with various clubs, governing bodies, national and international associations, in football and other sports, on a wide range of operational, strategic, commercial and financial projects. 

As Academy Projects Manager, Chris will provide support on a number of areas across the Academy, including the long-term development of Finch Farm, refining and delivering the Academy’s strategy, budgeting, and reporting to the executive team.

Chris was brought up in Crosby, and lives around the corner from Finch Farm in nearby Woolton.

THE OPERATIONS TEAM

Daniel Manning
Academy Operations Manager

Daniel has been with the Academy since June 2014 and was promoted to Academy Operations Manager in August 2017. His primary responsibility is the organisation, planning and delivery of the Academy programme from U9 – U18, whilst ensuring the effective day-to-day running of the training ground. 

Daniel is responsible for arranging all fixtures for the Academy teams and is a primary contact when liaising with the Premier League, opposition Clubs and Academy parents in relation to logistical details such as venue arrangements, travel arrangements, accommodation, kit and administration. 

Daniel is involved in the Academy Mentoring Scheme, supporting nine Academy players. Daniel also leads a new initiative that aims to promote the good work being undertaken within the Academy. 

Prior to joining the Academy, Daniel completed a BA Hons degree in Business Studies at the University of Liverpool. 

Liverpool born, Daniel grew up just a ten-minute drive away from the training ground and is a lifelong Evertonian.

Adam Doyle
Academy Secretary

Adam joined the Academy Operations team in June 2018. He comes from a background of financial administration and working closely with the public, which are integral to his role as Academy Secretary. 

Adam is responsible for submitting player registrations to the Premier League, being the first point of contact for Academy players' parents, and helping ensure the Operations team runs as effectively as possible.

He was brought up in Maghull and is a lifelong Evertonian.

Sean McClure
Academy Administrator 

Sean was appointed to the role of Academy Operations Administrator Apprentice in May 2017. Sean’s main duty is to assist the Academy Operations Department in undertaking a variety of administration duties such as the organising of tours and supporting the Academy Secretary with the registration of trialists and new signings.  

Prior to joining the Academy, Sean spent three years working in the law industry in Liverpool city centre after completing his A-Levels at, our scholars’ education site, Carmel College. 

Liverpool born, Sean is a lifelong Evertonian and often travels home and away to watch the Blues.

Graeme Riding 
Training Ground Coordinator

With a background in planning and co-ordination, Graeme joined Everton Academy as Training Ground Coordinator in 2018.  

Graeme’s role within the Operations team sees him liaising with various departments throughout the Academy and the Club to ensure smooth running of the Academy Programme and other activities at Finch Farm.

Graeme is an Everton supporter and has been a Season Ticket holder since he was nine years old.

Danny Webb
Academy Kit Manager

After a short spell working at Goodison Park, Danny worked for seven years at the Academy site in Netherton overseeing the day-to-day running of the premises. Danny moved over to USM Finch Farm when the Academy transferred to Halewood. He has held the role of Academy Kit Manager for eleven years.   

On a weekly basis, Danny prepares and manages the training and matchday kits for the U8 to U18 squads.  

A lifelong Evertonian, Danny is proud to play such an important part in the Academy’s day-to-day running.

Keith Loyden
Academy Operations Assistant

Keith began work at Everton Academy in 1996 when he assumed the role of Academy Scout. During this time, Keith worked alongside Sid Benson, the Scout responsible for bringing Ross Barkley to the Academy. In addition to his scouting work, Keith spent twelve years in the role of House Parent, cooking and caring for the residential Academy players at the former Academy accommodation facility, ‘The Lodge’.  

During his time at Everton, Keith has also assumed the roles of Driver, Laundry Assistant. He currently works alongside the Academy Kit Manager to prepare training and matchday kit.

John King
Academy Operations Assistant

Rob How
Academy Transport Manager

With a background in Electrical Mechanical Engineering, Robert originally joined Everton Academy as a Scout in 1995. As part of this role, he was responsible for transporting trialists. 

When the Academy schools’ release programme began, Robert became one of six part-time drivers whose responsibility it was to take the players from school to training.  

In 2007 Robert was offered the full-time position of Transport Manager for the Academy. His role is vital to the smooth of the Academy programme and involves managing a team of over twenty drivers.

Vinny Fieldstead 
Academy Transport Coordinator

THE SAFEGUARDING TEAM

Julie Lloyd
Head of Safeguarding

See profile above.

Holli Comaish
Safeguarding Officer

Holli was appointed to the role of Safeguarding Assistant (Administrator) in March 2015 and was promoted to the role of Safeguarding Officer earlier this year. One of a team of three responsible for ensuring that a culture of child-centred safeguarding is embedded across the Club. Holli is one of the Academy Mentoring Scheme’s twelve mentors and is also responsible for providing support to two Academy Host Families.

Holli studied French and German to degree level before training to teach. Holli has also had experience working with children with additional learning needs and disabilities through outreach work with local SEN schools and charities. Holli has a passion for working with children and young people of all abilities in a variety of settings, and through these experiences she has developed an expertise in safeguarding. 

Paul Semple
Safeguarding Officer