Vacancy: Academy Manager

Following promotion to the Championship, Sunderland AFC are continuing to strengthen both on and off the pitch.

We’re actively seeking a new Academy Manager who will oversee the strategic and tactical development of all key academy functions. The individual will also be responsible for all administrative and regulatory requirements.

Based at the club’s Academy of Light, considered amongst the best football training facilities in Europe, we’re a Cat 1 Academy and home to all the club’s representative teams, from the youngest age groups through to the U18, U23 and senior squads as well as the Sunderland Ladies team.


  • Communicate and promote the Club identity internally and externally to enhance an elite high-performance environment.

  • Lead on the strategic direction of youth development detailing all content within the Club Performance Plan and associated performance domain manuals.

  • Hold a leadership position on the Technical Board and Football Management Team.

  • To effectively manage the Academy Management Team (AMT) to meet business objectives.

  • To implement the Club Performance Plan through the Academy Management Team (AMT).

  • To have overall responsibility for the ISO Audit ensuring that all information if prepared and submitted appropriately.

  • With the authority of the Executive Team be responsible for negotiations on behalf of the Club relating to staff recruitment, player contracts, training compensation and transfer fees.

  • Report to the Senior Management Team / Board of Directors on the progress of the Academy programme in relation to the performance targets through an end of year report and an appropriate action plan.

  • To liaise with the Clubs Head Coach as appropriate.

  • To represent the Academy when dealing with external agencies, including the FA, the Premier League and any other agencies or delegate as necessary.


  • Provide inspirational leadership, guidance and mentoring to direct reports and all associated team members.
  • Provide line manager responsibilities to members of the Academy Management Team (AMT).
  • Lead on the recruitment of full-time staff in liaison with the relevant Head of Domain and Academy Operations Manager.
  • Set operational and/or performance targets which are clearly linked to the strategy of the Academy and the Club.
  • Monitor domain performance against performance goals to ensure that progress is being made.
  • Operate an appropriate and impactful meeting schedule for the AMT and Academy as a whole entity attending additional internal and external meetings as required.
  • Complete performance reviews for all direct reports as appropriate.
  • Ensure all Academy staff have annual performance reviews with each Head of Domain and appropriate member of the AMT


  • In liaison with the Head of Coaching, review and evaluate the coaching programme to ensure continual improvement.
  • Oversee the implementation of the coaching programme as a multidisciplinary and holistic model.
  • To monitor and evaluate all players within training and games across all the development phases.
  • Oversee the development plans of players providing guidance where required.
  • Ratify all decisions relating to the retain and release process inclusive of professional contracts.
  • To provide recommendations to the technical board on the progression of players.
  • Liaison with U23 Coach and 1st team / Loans Coordinator on the effective use of loans within the pathway.


  • To have ultimate responsibility for the financial management of the Academy, including compliance with club financial systems, budgeting, management accounting, cost management, and invoicing arrangements.
  • To ensure the Academy performance against budget is managed throughout the season, reviewing on a monthly and quarterly basis.
  • To report on performance against budget as and when required, and to maintain full knowledge of the financial performance of the Academy.


  • Design and implementation of a CPD calendar for Academy staff across all football domains in liaison with each Head of Domain.
  • Oversee the staff development programmes implemented by each domain lead.
  • Design, development and implementation of an Academy Competency Framework.
  • Manage the ACF process inclusive or appraisal process for each departmental lead.

The Executives in Sport Group are retained on behalf of Sunderland Association Football Club to appoint an Academy Manager. Applications and CV's should be sent to The Executives in Sport Group at

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Sunderland AFC is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to a policy of treating all employees and job applicants equally. Our aim is that all colleagues should be able to work in an environment free from discrimination, harassment and bullying.


Sunderland AFC is fully committed to the safeguarding and welfare of children, young people, adults at risk and all vulnerable groups within the organisation. Sunderland AFC owes a duty of care to safeguard all children, young people, adults at risk and all vulnerable groups involved in activities as organised by the football club. Sunderland AFC makes provisions for children, young people, adults at risk and all vulnerable groups through adherence to the Safeguarding Policies and Procedures adopted by the Club.

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