Sampson pleased with progress as Cobblers confirm new U18s head coach

Academy coaches step up to the first-team

Friday, 14th May 2021, 8:32 am
Ian Sampson.

Cobblers have confirmed that lead youth development phase coach Shane Goddard will take over the position of U18s head coach on a full-time basis.

Goddard had taken over the role earlier in the season after Jon Brady and Marc Richards were promoted to the first-team.

Ian Sampson Town's head of academy, said: "Shane is an excellent coach who has been looking after the U18s for the last couple of months and he deserves his opportunity.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

"He has come across from the football & education programme - that is another pathway that is very much open - and another example of the strength of the club's coaching structure working well.

"The U18s know Shane, he is a local coach who we feel is ideally placed to take on this role."

Whilst most of the focus is on players, Sampson has been encouraged and impressed by the level of coaching that has come through the academy.

Brady and Richards are now working with the first-team on a full-time basis while fitness coach and University of Northampton graduate Ashlee Adebayo has also stepped up.

Academy goalkeeping coach Tom Johnson has spent time working with the first-team this season, covering an injury to Dan Watson, and academy physiotherapist Michael Bolger recently replaced the departing Ignacio Herrando (Nacho).

Sampson, who himself will continue to spend time working with the first-team, added: "It is great to see so many coaches and members of staff come through and it really does show the strength in depth within the club's coaching structure.

"The pathway we talk about is not just open for players. It is open for coaches and staff as well and that can only help with the identity of the club.

"Next season, six of the first-team squad will be former academy players and the first-team staff will have a really good knowledge of those players.

"It helps with the transition for the players. The players know the coaches and what they want, the coaches know the players and it makes the jump in to the first team squad less daunting for the youngsters.

"The fans also know how much the club means to the staff, and it sends a message to the staff in the academy that the opportunity is there for them to progress if they work hard and develop as coaches."