Burnley appoint new Academy director

Burnley have appointed Paul Jenkins as Academy director.

Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 2:38 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 9:34 pm
Paul Jenkins

Jenkins is a UEFA Pro-Licence coach with more than two decades of experience in the professional game, and will start the role immediately, having supported the club as Technical Advisor since earlier this year.

The 46-year-old spent most of his career at Middlesbrough, working across the club’s youth set-up including under current England manager Gareth Southgate.

There he helped bring through players such as Stewart Downing, Lee Cattermole and former Burnley defender Ben Gibson, and won the 2003-04 FA Youth Cup.

Jenkins also managed Middlesbrough’s Under-21s to a double in 2015 – winning the Premier League second division title and North Riding Senior Cup – before graduating to first-team coach during the club’s 2016/17 Premier League campaign. After 23 years at Middlesbrough, he also spent time as Hartlepool United’s assistant manager.

Jenkins will now be tasked with shaping Burnley FC’s Category 1 Academy as part of the club’s long-term football strategy, following a successful transfer window, which will include working with international markets.

During his time at Burnley, Jenkins has spearheaded the global AiSCOUT talent search which has recently seen four young players invited for trials at the club and two invited back for extended trials with the Academy under-19s.

Jenkins will report into Mike Smith, the Burnley Executive Director responsible for overseeing day-to-day football operations, and Chairman Alan Pace.

Jenkins said: “It is an honour to be taking on the role of Academy Director at Burnley Football Club and I look forward to working with a talented group of young players at a truly world class Academy.

“Having worked with Alan Pace and Mike Smith at ALK Capital over the last year, their vision and strategy for the long-term future of Burnley Football Club is an exciting one. It very much aligns with how I believe we can develop the Academy, its recruitment of players both nationally and internationally, and how we can use innovation and data to support current practices within our club.

“What I hope to achieve is to create a legacy of good practice for both players and staff, have a positive reputation for giving players an opportunity to maximise their potential which may take them into our first team playing in the Premier League.”

Smith added: “We’re very proud of the Academy and its foundation. Now we look forward to working with Paul to take our Academy to the next level with Category 1 status. We will be making use of new technology and our increasing network of scouts and club partners across the British Isles and globally to find the best young talent to bring to Burnley.

Alan Pace said: “Paul is a hugely respected coach across the game, and he has been a valuable presence at the club for us since arriving in an advisory capacity.

“He will be provided with our deepest support, and I can’t wait to see the creation and implementation of a holistic environment for young players generating new, positive ideas on youth player development and at Burnley Football Club.”