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RICHARD COOPER APPOINTED ACADEMY MANAGER
5th June 2019 15:16


Stags appoint academy manager
mansfieldtown.net, 24 May 2019

Long-serving coach Richard Cooper has been promoted to the position of academy manager, we are pleased to announce.

The 39-year-old replaces John Dempster in the role after his appointment as first team manager earlier this month.

The former Nottingham Forest player joined the Stags’ backroom staff in July 2012 as first team coach under then-manager Paul Cox, helping the club to the Blue Square Bet Premier title.

Cooper also worked in the same position under former manager Adam Murray before accepting a new role as senior professional development coach with the U21s in November 2016.

The well-respected coach will be responsible for the club’s highly-acclaimed academy, which has 300 players on its books, aged from under sevens to under 21s.

“I’m honoured and excited to be named as the academy manager of Mansfield Town Football Club,” said Cooper.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2019/may/stags-appoint-academy-manager/

“I would like to thank the chairman, (John Radford), chief executive (Carolyn Radford), Mark Hawkins (academy director) and all other board members for this opportunity to evolve the academy.

“I am taking over an academy which is already performing beyond all expectations.

“The gaffer (John Dempster), along with the directors and current staff, has built the academy from scratch, to a level which is well-admired in professional football circles.

“The academy has made massive strides during the past four seasons and we are extremely proud of our achievements to date, which include the under 18s winning three league titles and significant progress in the FA Youth Cup.

“Thanks to the previous management, the link between the first team and academy was strengthened last season, which gave a clear pathway from the academy to the senior side, giving our young players the opportunity to be within the senior set-up, subject to their performances. This is something we have strived for and which we will endeavour to evolve even further.

“I have inherited a great staff who share my passion for the football club and want to move the academy forward.

“As an academy, we are now striving towards category three status, which would upgrade the academy for the start of the 2020-21 season, under the criteria and guidelines of the EFL.

“This will be a great opportunity for the football club as well as the young people of Mansfield. The club’s new training ground, the RH Academy, is integral to this vision as the facilities are of a first-class standard.

“I have the total support of the board of directors who will assist me in leading this ambition and I looking forward to this new challenge within a club which is on the up in all areas.”

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Academy left in ‘great place’ - new youth boss
mansfieldtown.net

New youth boss Richard Cooper says that he hopes to continue ‘evolving’ the Stags’ academy, which he believes has been left in a ‘great place’ by now-first team manager John Dempster.

Cooper was recently appointed as the academy manager, following his spell as a senior professional development coach with the Stags last term.

The new youth boss described the chance to lead the academy as a ‘really exciting’ opportunity.

“It’s an opportunity I’m really looking forward to,” he said. “I’ve been at the club a long while and I was part of the first team staff for the best part of five seasons.

“I got involved with the youth coaching in the first year I was here, when we were still in the Conference.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2019/may/cooper-interview-30-may/

“So to be put in charge of the academy side is really exciting for me. There’s a chance to evolve the academy, which is in such a great place at the minute.

“The directors want to move it forward even more, and to be given that opportunity, I’m really grateful for it.

“It’s a case of looking at where we are now, because we built some brilliant bridges last season with the under-21s and the first team.

“We’ll have the under-21s based at Woburn this season, in and around the first team. But we’re also going to get the under-18s up at Woburn on a Tuesday and a Thursday.

“It’s about trying to link the age groups as much as we can and strengthen that link to the first team.

“The under-18s will still be based there [Brooksby Melton College] and will still do large parts of their training there.

“We just have the opportunity now to get the under-18s up to Woburn twice a week, which is what we want to do.”

Cooper says that the academy’s values are centred around ‘respect, high standards and positive attitudes.’

“It [academy ethos] is really simple, but something that we’ve done from day one,” he added. “We expect respect, high standards and positive attitudes.

“We expect that from all the boys, and it’s plastered on all of the walls at Brooksby Melton College. It’s always spoken about by our coaches when we’re addressing the boys.

“We look after a lot of players at the football club, and we find that those core values really help us.

“I think it [John Dempster becoming manager] will be a massive help. He set this up four seasons ago, so he knows exactly how the academy works.

“We’ve certainly seen the gaffer’s work, and now we’ve been passed the baton now to try and evolve it even further.

“We’ve done a lot of planning and pre-season games now have to be put in place for the under-18s and the under-21s.

“We’ve set up a programme that begins from 24 June, so that’s the training programme and the strength and conditioning. Plus, the boys have got their off-season programme, which Tom Chapman [youth physio] has implemented.

“It’s been all systems go, but we’ll be ready by the end of June.”

A long term goal for the academy is to achieve EPPP [Elite Player Performance Plan] status, says Cooper.

EPPP is a youth development scheme initiated by the Premier League, intended to improve the quantity of homegrown players making first team appearances.

“We have an opportunity to put a proposal together, so our junior sides are basically working off the same guidelines as our under-18s and under-21s,” explained Cooper.

“It’s something which is in the background at the minute and is being driven by the directors behind the scenes.

“We’ll be looking at that over the next few weeks and months to come.

“The short term [goal] is to build on what we had last season, and get those lads into the gaffer’s [John Dempster] training.

“The long term is the vision of the football club, to go from under-9s to under-16s with the EPPP [Elite Player Performance Plan] status.”

iFollow Stags can watch the new academy manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.

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Mansfield Town aiming to guide junior players into the first team via prestigious EPPP scheme
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town are planning to improve the number of players from their junior sides that make it all the way to the first team by aiming for prestigious Elite Player Performance Plan status.

EPPP is a youth development scheme initiated by the Premier League, intended to increase the quantity of homegrown players making first team appearances and new academy manager Richard Cooper is excited by the prospect of achieving it.

“We have an opportunity to put a proposal together, so our junior sides are basically working off the same guidelines as our U18s and U21s,” he said.

“It’s something which is in the background at the minute and is being driven by the directors behind the scenes.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town-aiming-to-guide-junior-players-into-the-first-team-via-prestigious-eppp-scheme-1-9800419

“We’ll be looking at that over the next few weeks and months to come.

“The short term goal is to build on what we had last season, and get those lads into the gaffer’s (John Dempster) training.

“The long term is the vision of the football club, to go from U9s to U16s with the EPPP status.”

Cooper was recently appointed as academy manager after a spell as a senior professional development coach and said: “It’s an opportunity I’m really looking forward to.

“I’ve been at the club a long while and I was part of the first team staff for the best part of five seasons.

“I got involved with the youth coaching in the first year I was here, when we were still in the Conference.

“So to be put in charge of the academy side is really exciting for me. There’s a chance to evolve the academy, which is in such a great place at the minute.

“The directors want to move it forward even more, and to be given that opportunity, I’m really grateful for it.”

Cooper explained that from next season the club’s U21s will be based with the first team at the new Woburn Lane, Pleasley, training ground complex, while the youth team would also be spending a couple of days a week up there too.

“It’s a case of looking at where we are now, because we built some brilliant bridges last season with the U21s and the first team,” he said.

“We’ll have the U21s based at Woburn this season, in and around the first team. But we’re also going to get the U18s up at Woburn on a Tuesday and a Thursday.

“It’s about trying to link the age groups as much as we can and strengthen that link to the first team.

“The U18s will still be based at Brooksby Melton College and will still do large parts of their training there.

“But we just have the opportunity now to get the U18s up to Woburn twice a week, which is what we want to do.”

Cooper believes the promotion of John Dempster from academy manager to first team manager will hugely boost the process with his knowledge of the youngsters and how it all works.

“I think John becoming manager will be a massive help,” he said.

“He set this up four seasons ago, so he knows exactly how the academy works.

“We’ve certainly seen the gaffer’s work, and now we’ve been passed the baton now to try and evolve it even further.”

He added: “The academy ethos is really simple, but something that we’ve done from day one. We expect respect, high standards and positive attitudes.

“We expect that from all the boys, and it’s plastered on all of the walls at Brooksby Melton College. It’s always spoken about by our coaches when we’re addressing the boys.

“We look after a lot of players at the football club, and we find that those core values really help us.”

Plans are already in motion for pre-season and summer fitness.

“We’ve done a lot of planning and pre-season games now have to be put in place for the U18s and the U21s,” said Cooper.

“We’ve set up a programme that begins from 24th June, so that’s the training programme and the strength and conditioning. Plus, the boys have got their off-season programme, which Tom Chapman (youth physio) has implemented.

“It’s been all systems go, but we’ll be ready by the end of June.”

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