Rochdale AFC are pleased to announce the appointment of Rick Ashcroft as Head Of Academy Coaching.
Ashcroft previously spent ten years working with the Academy, before leaving over a year ago for a job in education.
“I’m definitely excited to be back, it’s something I’ve been looking forward to getting my teeth back into, and picking up where I left off. I was sort of doing the role for a period of time alongside the role I was already doing. It’s just a matter of picking it back up and getting back up to speed.
“I’ll be looking after the coaches mainly, but obviously with a focus of the coaches improving the players. It’s something that goes hand in hand. Everything we do here is about improving the players, so ultimately my role will be more hands on with coaches than it was with players last time.”
The Club’s Academy has had great success recently, ranked first at Category Three level for productivity in the last two years, and ranked third out of all 92 Football League clubs.
“I think the environment that has been created here has created a pathway and created learning opportunities for all the staff. If people are willing to jump on board and learn, then they can develop and expand their knowledge quite quickly.
“[Head Of Academy Coaching] It’s a role that has been created by the Premier League and Football League, to have someone more accountable and hands-on for the coaches development.”
The Club also gives opportunities to young players in the First Team, from now regulars such as Jamie Allen and Callum Camps, to those coming through more recently such as Aaron Morley and Daniel Adshead.
“The opportunities have been there, thanks to Keith [Hill] and Chris [Beech], for a long time now. Ultimately, it comes down to the players to take that opportunity to develop and open the door for themselves.
“Everybody wants to see young players coming through the Academy, and that’s one of the unique things about this football club, that it does provide those opportunities.”
You can watch the full interview on iFollow.