Everton hire new Academy Director

30/12/2015  29 Comments  [Jump to last]
Everton have announced the hire of a new Director of the club's Academy at Finch Farm who will take up the post on 4th January.

Dr Peter Vint, former Senior Director of Competitive Analysis, Research and Innovation with the US Olympic Committee, headed a team of leading sports science and medical professionals that oversaw the United States' team that won 64 medals at the 2012 Olympics in London.

The reputation of Everton Football Club and its Academy is world-renowned and I am really excited about beginning my work at the Club, Peter said on the club's official site.

Everton has an unparalleled history and an inspiring connection to the local community. The club also takes great pride in finding and developing exceptional young footballers and placing Academy graduates on a path towards our first team.

I have been impressed with members of the clubs excellent staff and the environment the club has created for the young footballers under our care. What has been most compelling to me, however, and ultimately has led to my decision to join the club, is Evertons genuine willingness to challenge the status quo and challenge ourselves as individuals to be even better. In the world of high performance sport, this is often said but rarely done. I am truly grateful and I am genuinely excited for this great opportunity to lead Evertons Academy as the new Director.


Reader Comments (29)

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Keith Harrison
1 Posted 30/12/2015 at 16:49:16
Are the Yanks getting all their ducks in line early? Before the takeover? If he's a Competitive Analysis expert, he might be able to pinpoint why we keep dropping stupid points.
Steve Hogan
2 Posted 30/12/2015 at 16:58:36
So will his first job be to find out why we can't clear the first defender at corners? Nurse...
Andrew Presly
7 Posted 30/12/2015 at 17:37:38
A guy with no professional football experience running the Academy? Interesting.
Steavey Buckley
8 Posted 30/12/2015 at 18:03:17
Anything to give Everton the edge over rivals is welcomed. Medical/science in sport has been around awhile in this country for at least 30 years. Everton already employ a video analyst, and a performance analyst is an important next step, to make sure that youngsters are properly taken care of, if they are to be tomorrow's next big thing.
Jon Withey
9 Posted 30/12/2015 at 18:10:02
School of Science welcomes an actual scientist - can only be good.
Norman Jones
10 Posted 30/12/2015 at 18:33:07
The Yanks are coming !

Most 'performance experts' specialise in one thing - bullshit. (See athletics, swimming and tennis) I thought we had enough of these on the books !

Brian Cleveland
11 Posted 30/12/2015 at 18:42:33
Maybe he can analyse Bobby's performance?
Geoff Evans
12 Posted 30/12/2015 at 18:54:00
Maybe he can analyze some of the manager's soundbites!
Brent Stephens
13 Posted 30/12/2015 at 19:08:16
Dave Brailsford, performance director in cycling, British Cycling and Sky. Hardly a bullshit guy or performance. Who's the British tennis performance director - didn't we just win the Davies Cup? Also bullshit?
Harold Matthews
14 Posted 30/12/2015 at 19:16:19
Sounds good to me although I wouldn't mind the people who turned our cyclists into superstars.
Brent Stephens
15 Posted 30/12/2015 at 19:18:07
Maybe a Brailsford could get Roberto "on his bike".
Mike Gaynes
16 Posted 30/12/2015 at 19:31:57
Norman #6, maybe you should check out the Yanks' Olympics results in two of those areas you mentioned -- swimming and athletics.

Huge improvements under the performance analysis system installed by Vint, who doesn't know anything more about sprint relays or backstrokes than he does about footy... but knows a hell of a lot about how cutting-edge science is maximizing athletic performance, training and health.

Hell, if the guy saves us two pulled hamstrings a year, he's worth it.

Norman Jones
17 Posted 30/12/2015 at 19:52:09
That's good to hear guys. Anyone who can improve on the tiny trickle of kids who make it from our academy is to be welcomed. But it still smacks of 'a political appointment' to me. Sir Clive Woodward's time at Southampton was a disaster and he'd won the Rugby World Cup for England.
James Morgan
18 Posted 30/12/2015 at 20:06:37
The optimist in me is thinking this is one of a number of pre-emptive moves by the new, "soon to be" owners of the club.

The realist in me just sees this as the appointment of somebody to the back room staff.
Geoff Williams
19 Posted 30/12/2015 at 20:11:19
Why not have an American who knows nothing about football, we already have a manager who knows nothing about tactics
Dennis Ng
20 Posted 30/12/2015 at 20:16:24
My optimist is saying this is shifting the focus of several coaching staff towards our current league form by hiring someone to take over academy affairs. Don't start on my pessimist side.
Kase Chow
21 Posted 30/12/2015 at 20:26:06
Great news.

A serious appointment for a serious job.

Well qualified, a proven track record – can only be a good thing.

Well done, Everton.

Anthony Lamb
22 Posted 30/12/2015 at 22:05:26
So this guy is joining Everton because of the "willingness to challenge ourselves as individuals and to be even better". It seems a lot like the advice and encouragement my parents gave to each of us in the family to "always do the very best that you can"!

These first utterances seem to be in keeping with the psycho-babble that pervades so much of professional sport and the inflation of language and which is seemingly so beloved by the current manager. Call it Sports Science, call the participants "elite" etc and the myths surrounding sport continue to grow encouraging us all to think it is oh so complex, difficult, and often beyond "normal" understanding. All the while providing lucrative employment for the legions trying to feed off the rich pickings available.

And the end results? We have current examples like the claptrap from the manager regarding two of his "elite" athletes such as Miralles and Lennon who could not be expected to play a couple of games of football over a three or four day period now could they? Why? Because they are "sprinters"!! Is the industry mad?

Let us hope that this new incursion into the so called Academy is a success but the manager of Sunderland is an example of an avowed long time believer in the power of science applied to soccer so let us not worship at the altar of the "scientists" just yet.

Peter Conley
23 Posted 30/12/2015 at 22:13:46
Can't believe the negative comments regarding this appointment, when not one of you know how the academy is run.

To appoint a man with his recent CV is a massive coup for the club. I don't care if he is not up to speed on football. We have enough ex players at the Academy for that.

If you get the chance, go and watch an Academy game. I can highly recommend them
Mark Hughes
24 Posted 31/12/2015 at 00:47:20
Brilliant Appointment.
Think Moneyball
Gavin Johnson
25 Posted 31/12/2015 at 02:18:01
The guy sounds like he's got decent credentials. I find his appointment more interesting with all the talk of the American takeover in the offing.
Brian Wilkinson
27 Posted 31/12/2015 at 07:31:21
Maybe he can give some fiest hand advice, with being a Dr on hamstring injurys.
Brian Wilkinson
28 Posted 31/12/2015 at 07:32:28
Maybe he can give some first hand advice, on hamstring injurys.
Paul Tran
29 Posted 31/12/2015 at 10:38:03
No problem with science, it's about how it's used and the extent to which it replaces proper human decision making.

The likes of Allardyce will use science to know how far players can run in a game, how fast they sprint, where they tend to run, etc. They then monitor the stats to assess performance, fitness and form. Some of us argue that mediocre managers use this useful stuff so they can measure what's easy to measure, rather than coaching footballers to pass the ball better, or in our case, getting them to concentrate.

For me this will be a good appointment if it means we focus more on the mental side of things. It can be harder to measure, but the mentally resilient tend to be more successful in all walks of life, particularly sport. Look back to us two seasons ago, or regularly under Moyes, when these good players choked when close to achievement. Watch England in any tournament these days and see how they crumble.

I can understand anyone getting irritated when people start using daft language to describe something simple, but behind the nonsense I can spot potential for getting an edge on others.

Chris Kelly
30 Posted 31/12/2015 at 11:17:24
Just had a google and fall into the positive news camp. He is well thought of across sport and will have a great network of contacts. The focus on sports science has worked in many sports such as swimming and cycling, so I think this can only be good for Everton.

One of the criticisms the club gets is that it is amateurish and behind the curve. This looks like a bold and innovative big name appointment. Let's hope it provides a solid platform for us to develop and nurture players going forward. The significance of a big name American is not lost on me either... given takeover rumours. Does he know something we don't...?

John Raftery
31 Posted 31/12/2015 at 12:54:40
Anthony - 18 regarding your comment on Mirallas and Lennon, actually it was two games in less than 48 hours not three or four days. It made sense not to risk two players who have played very little football in recent months. Mirallas particularly is susceptible to hamstring injuries. Both he and Lennon put in a full shift in difficult conditions at Newcastle and I would have been amazed if either would have been ready to play at 100% on Monday.

Regarding this appointment a clue lies in one word of the job title, 'Director'. He will hopefully bring strategic direction to the running of the Academy so that the young players coming through are better equipped to make it to the very top. Too many reach a high level at the various age groups, including international representation, before disappearing into obscurity in the lower leagues. It is very much the same at all Premier League clubs and although we are better than most we need to improve.

So we need to do something different in order that the Academy stars aged 17/18 maintain their professional development instead of levelling off. The success of this appointment can only be judged in 3 to 4 years when we will see how many more Academy players have established themselves in the first team squad.

Les Martin
32 Posted 31/12/2015 at 13:06:25
Mike Gaynes (#12) is on the money with his comments. I would go as far to say that this is a superb move, if this man cannot sort out any sports science problems that are holding players back then no-one can.

Surely it can only be a positive move to have this man in charge to oversee the whole programme to develop and protect the young talent coming through and the first team. Hell, maybe he can get Big Dunc fit for first team action!

We have lost a few backroom medical/physio staff in the past 12+ months, and maybe we have been waiting to get the right person in.

Wishing all at ToffeeWeb and fellow posters a Happy New Year!

Gary Edwards
33 Posted 31/12/2015 at 15:13:21
Based on the article and informed comments, this seems to be a good, timely appointment given the current crop of very talented youngsters. Kudos to whoever made this call.

I note that the article fails to state how long this bloke will be with us, if this "hire" is an exclusive, permanent engagement or contract / consultancy type arrangement.
Brin Williams
34 Posted 31/12/2015 at 15:21:38
What about that Italian fella – Zanuzzi – he could give our Academy the Appliance of Science.

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