Head of Academy Job Description


Darlington Football Club

Head of Academy

Job Description


Position Details

Post Holder:                        Position:  

Name                                    Head of Academy


Signature of Post Holder:




Reporting to:

DFC Operations Consultant – Line Manager


Liaising with:

DFC First Team Manager

DFC Football Secretary

DFC Sports Therapist


Education Providers


Hours per week:  

A flexible approach to working hours, including match days and such hours as necessary for the full and proper performance of the role, taking into consideration the nature of the Club’s business

Overall Objectives:

·        To deliver and implement the strategic and operational plan for the DFC Academy and provide leadership, management and monitoring to all aspects of the Academy, working with the education provider, managing coaches, players and regular liaison with other relevant stakeholders in Darlington Football Club

·        To uphold the vision, values and ethos of Darlington Football Club at all times


Job Description

The Main Roles of the DFC Head of Academy:

•        To drive the vision of the DFC Academy through an excellent standard of coaching, strategic planning, operational management and good leadership of people, i.e. to lead by example

•        To have a clear passion for the long-term development of talented players, creating a pathway into the DFC First team or other professional clubs. 


Key Duties and Responsibilities:

·        To align the Academy’s playing and coaching philosophy with the DFC philosophy

·        To establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) with Club Officials and the First Team Manager and to review these and adapt plans to achieve the KPIs as necessary, i.e. how is the Academy doing, how do we know and how do we improve?

·        As advised by the DFC Board, to provide regular Academy management reports. These include quality of player recruitment, retention and playing performance and linked to the established KPIs and education progress as reported by the education providers.

·        To manage Academy coaches so they know what is required of them and can achieve their goals through regular performance management, team meetings and regular 1:1 meetings.

·        To address and manage underperformance in coaches or players.

·        To deliver expected services to players and their families including welfare standards and development of a strategy to help players who leave the club.

·        To lead on the Academy’s reputation within the club, the community and in football generally, through dialogue with the DFC Board, the First Team Management, players, parents, local schools, local football clubs and the Academy education providers

·        Responsibility for overall monitoring, management, development and implementation of the DFC Academy coaching and fixtures (in line with the National League U19 Alliance and other football authority criteria)

·        Undertake and lead relevant continual professional development (CPD) for self and other Academy staff.

·        Attend all meetings relating to the Academy including Club, FA, National League and other as required, e.g. the education providers

·        Ensure clear lines of communication with Club Officials, partner facilities (QE 6th Form College, SCL Learning and Darlington College), players and parents.

·        Ensure the Club’s First Team Code of Conduct is in place and adhered to, across Academy staff, players and parents.

·        Ensure a robust Academy recruitment and retention policy is in place, in liaison with the First team manager.

·        To oversee the Academy individual development plans and to ensure that players are supported to their fullest potential.

·        To maintain the safeguarding and welfare of Academy coaches and players and report any issues directly to a Club Official.

·        To undertake safeguarding training as appropriate

·        Maintain a professional image when dealing with both internal and external contacts and partners, acting in a professional manner at all times.


Responsibilities with QE 6th Form College:

Main Contact – QE Sports Development Coordinator

·        To liaise closely with the QE Sports Development Coordinator during all training session times on all matters relating to the Abbey Road Sports Complex training facility.

·        To ensure Academy coaches and players follow all systems and procedures at Abbey Road Sports Complex, in line with the agreement to use the facility, as explained by the QE Sports Development Coordinator

·        To ensure exemplary standards of behaviour from every Academy player is maintained at all times.

·        To ensure adequate supervision of all Academy players is maintained at all times they are on the QE Abbey Road site.

·        To attend meetings with the QE Sports Development Coordinator and/or other QE staff in relation to Academy matters, as needed


Responsibilities with SCL Learning and Darlington College:

Main Contacts – SCL Tutor and Darlington College Tutor

·        To liaise closely with the Tutors in the first instance on all daily procedural matters relating to the education provision. If any matters cannot be resolved, refer the matter to a Club Official.

·        To be available to support the Tutor and Academy players on matters other than teaching and learning, as the need arises e.g. welfare and discipline.

·        To attend meetings with the Tutors and/or other personnel in relation to Academy matters, as needed.

·        To promote high aspirations for the education programmes of the Academy



Head of Academy Performance Management Review dates with Line Manager:

End September 2021

End January 2022

End May 2022



Job Description Review date:

July 2022