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Academy restructure welcomes new and familiar faces to enhance provision

An exciting new chapter arises as Needham Market Academy announces restructure to enhance football opportunities for students both on and off the pitch.

The restructure focuses on a significant realignment of staff following Kevin Horlocks recent departure along with streamlining operations to enhance the academy's football provision.

James Mant, who graduated from the academy in 2018 and has since worked as academy staff for five years has been promoted to Academy Head Coach. James will drive the football provision fromU13 Level up to U23 Level – overseeing the whole youth system and providing a close link to Needham Market FC for both male and female students.

Luke Betts has been appointed Academy Assistant Coach to support James Mant with the football provision.

Luke has successfully managed Needham Market EJA teams as well as coaching 1-2-1 sessions to players including Ipswich Town stars Connor Chaplin and Freddie Ladapo.

Luke said: “I’m delighted to be joining the academy on a more permanent basis. I’ve been working within the youth setup at Needham Market for the last five years helping players through the transition into the academy.

“I’m really excited about this opportunity and look forward to working with all the staff at the academy to further develop students football playing ability.”

In a bid to further improve the experience of the football provision, the academy is delighted to introduce a Specialist Goalkeeper Coach, Nick Hunt - who joins us from Ipswich Town Academy.

We will also be introducing a Strength and Conditioning Coach who will help players transition into a full-time training programme and ensure that all players are as physically robust as possible.

The academy will also be hosting regular elite experiences whereby professional players and coaches will lead sessions on the state-of-the-art 3G pitch.

Needham Market First Team player and Academy Graduate Hugh Cullum is also joining staff as a Performance Analysis Intern to support his studies at the University of Suffolk whilst providing academy coaches and students with detailed individual development plans.

Emma Scott has been appointed Head of Medical after Ian Jenkins retirement earlier this year and will be supported by Student Sports Therapists, Bex Easy and Ailish Segon.

Sam Leslie will continue to lead the education provision as Head of Education and be supported by Lead Tutor Matthew Cook.

Needham Market Academy Director Graham Emmerson has said preparation for a strong 2023/24 academic year has begun: “Needham Market Academy are excited to bring fresh ideas into the academy through the restructure and we’re looking forward to enhancing our provision.

“We have seen over the last five years the hard work James Mant and Luke Betts have put in to our youth set up and become well respected coach’s appreciated by players, parents and academy staff.

Further information about the restructure of Needham Market Academy will be released over the next few weeks.


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