As part of the new footballing structure at Wolves, Gareth Prosser was appointed Acting Academy Manager in January 2013, a role that was made permanent in July 2013.
Gareth was promoted after five years as the Assistant Academy Manager for the club. In this time, the provision in place for the Academy players has greatly improved with a more holistic programme of development in place, including more contact time for the players. Over the last two years Gareth was heavily involved in the Elite Player Performance Plan development at the club, resulting in the Wolves Academy achieving Category One status, one of only 20 clubs to achieve this rating.
A former scholar at local rivals West Bromwich Albion, Gareth joined us in July 2008 from Derby County, where he spent two years also as Assistant Academy Manager.
In his time at Derby, Gareth worked with players such as Will Hughes, Jeff Hendrick and Mark O’Brien who have all gone on to play regularly in the first team at Derby.
Prior to Derby County, Gareth worked for the FAW as Football Development Officer for Flintshire, a role which also involved him working with the FAW regional and National U16 squad, as well as in coach education. Gareth delivered and lead courses up to and including the UEFA B qualification.
Gareth has also represented Wolves on behalf of the Premier League as a head coach on the Premier Leagues flagship international programme ‘Premier Skills’, which has taken him to countries including India, Kenya, Senegal, Botswana and China to coach coaches.
A degree holder in BSc (Hons) Degree in Coaching Science which was gained from Liverpool John Moores University in 2004. During his time at University, Gareth worked in the Academy at Tranmere Rovers for four years, working with players such as Thomas Ince and Scott Wooton.
Gareth passed his UEFA ‘A’ coaching licence in 2006 and is due to complete his UEFA Pro Licence in October 2013, the highest coaching qualification available.
U18 Head Coach
Rob Edwards was appointed as Wolves’ Under-18 coach in July, 2014.
The appointment followed a year spent continuing to pick up his coaching qualifications whilst also working within the Academies at both Wolves and Manchester City.
Edwards enjoyed an extensive playing career prior to retiring in the latter stages of 2013, starting in the Premier League with Aston Villa, and was capped by Wales at international level. He also spent four years as a player at Wolves from 2004 to 2008, chalking up over a century of appearances, and was delighted to return to the club in a coaching capacity.
Edwards arrived with the desire for the team to produce attacking and attractive football, as part of the new overall philosophy at the club to produce a consistent style of play through all levels from youth to senior.
Professional Support Phase Coach
Sean Parrish arrived at Wolves in the summer of 2012 to work as the club’s Professional Support Phase coach.
The important role involves working with coaches Scott Sellars and Rob Edwards with both Academy scholars and young professionals aiming to make the transition from youth to senior football.
Parrish boasts extensive coaching experience, particularly with young players, and worked as Academy manager at Northampton Town prior to joining Wolves.
He represented several clubs as a player, including Northampton Town, where he memorably scored from outside the box in a play-off semi final against Cardiff enroute to winning promotion at Wembley in 1997. A touch tackling midfielder, he also secured a promotion whilst at Chesterfield, whilst his spell at Kidderminster Harriers included going mighty close to a giantkilling over Wolves in the FA Cup third round at Aggborough.
Paul arrived at Wolves from Middlesbrough FC for the start of the 2012/2013 season.
Having joined Middlesbrough in 2005 as a part of the community team, he developed a goalkeeping programme that acted as a successful link to the Academy with many players progressing.
Paul then became part of Middlesbrough FC’s productive goalkeeping department and worked with many goalkeepers that have since gone on to gain contracts with Middlesbrough and other clubs including Sheffield Wednesday, Leicester City and Sunderland.
Paul had also been working at International level with Tunisia after impressing on a trip whilst working for the Premier League. He was invited back by the National Federation to coach throughout the country at national training centres and worked with the National U16 and U14 goalkeepers.
Paul holds a UEFA B licence for both outfield and for goalkeeping and is a licensed tutor for the FA. In his tutor role he has provided coach education at grass roots level where he feels goalkeepers are often overlooked and he has a passion for giving young goalkeepers the best opportunity to improve and progress. It is hoped that Pauls’ experience and expertise will help Wolves Academy produce more goalkeepers to follow in the footsteps of Matt Murray, Carl Ikeme and Wayne Hennessey.
Youth Development Lead Coach
Darren is a former professional with Shrewsbury, Stockport, Chester, Rochdale and he gained UEFA Champions League experience with Welsh League winners Barry Town FC in 1996. Darren joined Wolves Academy permanently in the summer of 2011 after being manager at Newtown AFC in the Welsh Premier League and having previously worked with the Academy’s Under-13 team.
Darren came in to work specifically with the 12-16 age group on the school release programme that the Academy still currently have in place.
The role has developed as part of the co-operation between the Academy and the local schools which allow Academy players to come out of school during the day and enjoy additional coaching.
Darren's experience as an ex-professional and as a fully qualified UEFA A Licence Coach with an infectious enthusiasm for the job, he is viewed as a key part of the Academy team’s strategy since the gaining of Category One status.
Darren is currently undertaking his UEFA Professional Licence and the Module 3 Youth Coaching Award.
Head of Academy Recruitment
After ambitions of a playing career were ended early due to injury, Kieran quickly set about trying to forge a career in the recruitment side of the game.
He started working for the Scout 7 company carrying out first team assessments for many different clubs which then led to a position at Bournemouth working under Eddie Howe and Jason Blake.
From there Kieran moved to work at Southampton where he started to specialise in Academy recruitment, and he then landed the role of Head of Academy Recruitment at Burnley in 2011.
From Burnley, Kieran then moved to become Head of Academy Recruitment at Wolves, starting in December, 2013.
Having been previously based in the North West and battling for the signatures of young players against the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool, Kieran is now relishing the challenge of trying to attract some of the best players in the country to the Category One Academy at Wolves.
Assistant Recruitment Officer
A member of the scouting staff since 1998, Bob turned full-time at the club in 2002.
He was initially approached by Wolves to join the club as a scout when youth coach at Willenhall Town FC having previously worked for Bilbrook Juniors.
As a schoolboy he was the X-Country Champion of Staffordshire on two occasions later becoming a respectable middle distance and marathon runner.
In his youth he was with Walsall Football Club before dropping out of football for 3 years. He later returned on the amateur football circuit becoming a regular in the Wolverhampton Amateur League Select side and amongst other clubs played for Bilston Town FC in the West Midlands League.
It is a little known fact that he is a respected poet in his own right being featured on various websites in his ancestral Scotland including Poetry of Scotland , Scotland's Enchanted Kingdom and Smart Community Fife. He also has his own website Poetic Writing of Robbie Kennedy Bennett.
Concentrates on the local recruitment programme and registration compliance and is well regarded for his diligence.
Bob is currently the Academy's longest serving full-time officer.
Head Of Education
Originally a school PE teacher, Nick became Head of Personal and Social Education and a Work Related Curriculum co-ordinator in schools in Wolverhampton and Willenhall, before joining the Academy in April 2004.
He is also Team Manager and football Secretary for Wolverhampton Schools FA, and team manager and Vice Chairman of West Midlands Schools FA.
Nick oversees the Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence NVQ programme as the club's Core Programme Coordinator, ensuring the players achieve high standards of academic, personal and social development.
Nick also fulfils the role as Wolves' Safeguarding Officer for Children and Vulnerable Adults.
Now performing a crucial administrative role for the Academy, Jenny was formerly a Naval Writer and PA to a Naval Commander.
Responsible for all Academy administrative procedures, clerical support initiatives as well as fully supporting the Academy Manager on a daily basis.
Highly valued member of staff, Ron ensures the highest standards of operational management in matchplay and all training sessions.
Very well organised and motivated, he has been at the Academy over ten years and also provides a link to parents and guardians.
Having worked diligently for the Academy on a part-time basis for over a decade, Ron became a full-time member of staff at the start of the 2009/10 season.
Foundation Lead Coach
Marc arrived at Wolves in 2005 and started work as a Community Officer for the Community Trust department.
In July 2008 he started working with the younger age groups of the Academy and in February, 2009, he became a full time member of the Academy staff.
His role is to ensure the young players that train with the Academy receive the best technical coaching possible and to ensure they are given the best opportunity to progress through the early ranks of the Academy.
Marc also co-ordinates the Wolves Development Centre programme for young players in the community who show good ability and football potential. Wolves have development centres in Walsall and Wolverhampton.
Marc has a UEFA 'B' coaching license along with FA age-specific coaching qualifications for coaching five to 11-year olds.
Foundation Support Coach
Dan joined the Academy full time in May 2012 as the Foundation support coach.
Dan joined Wolves in 2011 as an Academy scout and Development Centre coach. He then progressed to join the Foundation Phase (5-11) coaching programme, where he has been able to apply his vast experience of coaching young players when working with our Pre-Academy and Academy players.
Dan holds a UEFA 'B' Coaching license and is currently undertaking his FA Youth Award Modules. Dan brings expertise in working with grassroots clubs,
School teams and has also been responsible for delivering Physical Education within Wolverhampton schools.
12-14's Youth Development
12 – 14’s Youth Development Phase Support Coach/ Core Programme Coordinator
Daniel first joined the football club part time in 2010 to work with the Foundation age groups (5-11 years) whilst also working as a secondary school Physical Education teacher at Codsall High School.
Prior to his time at Wolves he was a schoolboy player at Wrexham and also spent 7 years as a coach at their Centre for Excellence. During his time at Wrexham he also spent 3 months coaching at soccer camps in USA, in New York State.
Since July 2012 Daniel has been working with Wolves Academy players in the Youth Development Phase (ages 12-14 years) coaching to improve their football ability and with additional responsibility for the academic and social development of our young players. He also assesses scholars against NVQ standards.
Daniel has a BA (Hons) degree from Glyndwr University in Wales and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from Bangor University qualifying him as a Teacher. He holds the UEFA ‘B’ licence, and FA Youth Modules 1, 2 and 3.
Profile to follow.
Jamie Chapman, David Cooke.
Profiles to follow.