Since it is their job to develop the overall framework and vision for the academy and the coaches working under their supervision, academy directors must have a very clear understanding of their club's philosophy, as a clear philosophy creates a pathway for players to progress through the academy's age groups and, eventually, into the first team. It is critical that academy players are given the opportunity to develop their talent in line with the overall philosophy of the club, as this means they will immediately understand the system and playing style adopted by the first-team coach if they are called upon to represent the first team.
The academy director is also responsible for managing the academy's budget and all its staff, and is the key decision-maker when it comes to recruiting players recommended by the talent identification team.
Jayne Ludlow – Academy Director, Manchester City WFC
Jean Kindermans – Academy Director, RSC Anderlecht