Academy appoints new Head of Coaching

16th May

Swansea City have appointed Dave Adams as the Academy's new Head of Coaching.
Adams, who has worked with a number of youth players in Wales, will now work alongside Academy Manager Nigel Rees.
The 35-year-old, who hails from Haverfordwest, has also worked as a consultant for the Football Association of Wales, working closely with the Under-16's and Under-21 teams.
Adams will be based at the club's Landore training complex and will be working closely on the Academy's three-phase curriculum - Foundation (ages 7-11), Development (12-16) and Professional (17-21).
"My main role is to try and develop a more coherent system of player development," he said. "For example, we want a 7-year-old to have progression all the way through the age groups in a systematic way.
"It needs to have a lot of different elements feeding into it. In the past, coaching has sat outside of sports science and performance analysis, but all these are now vitally important.
"We want to try and build a physical curriculum in terms of improving the characteristics that are needed to be a top player, as well as things like nutrition and how the players look after themselves outside of training and matches."
Adams has spent the last six years at the University of South Wales, writing the prestigious A-Licence coaching course.
It was during this period that he was able to undertake a great deal of research into the varying models that are in place around some of Europe's elite Academy structures. 
"Firstly, Swansea City plays a brand of football that I admire," he said. "It's an opportunity that I couldn't turn down, both in terms of the profile and how the club is set up and organised.
"I was fortunate to be able to travel and present all over the world and see different coaching systems during my time at the University of South Wales.
"I also did my Pro Licence with the likes of Roberto Martinez and Tony Pulis. Roberto is someone that believes in this brand of football and he arguably took the club to where it is today in some respects.
"I've been influenced by both the Dutch and Spanish model and what clubs like Ajax and Barcelona have achieved.
"We feel that the models in place in those countries will lend nicely into our coaching programme and it is one of the main reasons why I've come here."
Since winning promotion to the Premier League in 2011, Swansea City has continued to progress both on and off the pitch.
Category Two status was quickly achieved last summer and Adams has now highlighted the aims for both the short and long-term future of the Academy.
"My short-term target is to get us Category One status," he said. That is going to be a big project and we have come a long way in a short space of time.
"But with the resources and facilities that we now have here, it makes it a lot easier and the investment from the Board has made a massive difference.
"We can then recruit players from anywhere. At the moment we are governed by a 90-minute rule, whereas Category One clubs can recruit from anywhere.
"Also, the games programme is second to none because you come up against all the top clubs - and that is where we want to be.
"Once we have done that, my target is simply to try and improve the players we have within the Academy."
The Academy has seen the likes of Ben Davies and Jazz Richards make great strides in the club's first-team setup in recent seasons, while local product Joe Allen blossomed before earning a high-profile move to Liverpool in 2012.
Meanwhile, young midfielder Jay Fulton made his first senior start in the final game of last season against Sunderland.
And Adams revealed it is a "dream come true" to work for the club that he has watched for a number of years.
"My family are massive Swans fans, and my wife and her parents are season ticket holders," he said.
"I've been watching the club for years as a supporter, and the opportunity has worked out really well and it's a dream come true for myself.
"It's an exciting challenge and I'm looking forward to taking the Academy forward in a variety of different ways.
"At a lot of clubs the first-team operates entirely differently to the Academy. But when the children come to Swansea City they know that this is the style of football that the first-team play.
"It is far more coherent and that model is often adopted on the continent, thus hopefully giving players a better chance of breaking through into the first-team environment."