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Academy

Statement From Sean O'Driscoll

Academy's Head of Coaching reveals why he's leaving the club

29 September 2021

Sean O'Driscoll

I confirm I have resigned as Head of Coaching at Portsmouth. But following reports today, I thought it was important I explained the reasons for my decision.

I joined Portsmouth two-and-a-half years ago, largely for family reasons. During this time, I have been fully committed to trying to help the Academy move forwards, while also supporting the continuation of player and coach development during the challenges and uncertainties of the pandemic.

But, to do this job properly, you need to be available seven days a week and most evenings – something I have found an increasingly difficult compromise to make.

So, I’ve made the decision for me personally, while it also enables the club to now employ someone who can make the commitments needed to take the Academy to the next level.

The club’s senior management have worked tirelessly to try to provide the best environment for every player who is selected to join. Is it perfect? No. Would everyone always like to do better? Yes.

But the Academy operates under a Category Three remit and the facilities actually exceed the requirements set down by the EFL and Premier League.

Having worked at AFC Bournemouth for such a long time, when the club had infinitely fewer resources and was at times in administration and receivership, I am the last person who would ever complain about the lack of this and that.

While improved facilities would be something to aspire to, what makes any academy successful is the people who work there.

The first team management have made it clear they value the Academy and see it as an important part of the fabric of the football club. The purchasing of the Roko site is a step in the right direction in enabling the club as a whole to grow.

I wish the Academy, Greg Miller and the team nothing but success for the future and will enjoy seeing the players move through the system in the coming years.


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