Everton have appointed Peter Vint as the team's new Academy director according to the Everton website. Vint had previously been the Senior Director of Competitive Analysis, Research & Innovation for the United States Olympic Committee. While Vint has no background in football, he is expected to help the team's young players maximize their potential and further developing Everton's already renowned academy.
In his role with preparing the American Olympics contingent, Vint headed up a team of sports science and medical professionals, supporting five national governing bodies (including major players USA Track and Field and USA Swimming) and won 64 medals during the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
His detailed understanding of all aspects of performance and development, accumulated over the course of his career, has allowed him to develop performance-impacting initiatives that have delivered positive competitive outcomes. He has also provided guidance to coaches in skill acquisition, feedback and practice design, as well as in many other areas of performance and development.
A team such as Everton will always struggle to compete financially with the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United. Getting their stars through the Academy has always been the team's strategy and it has paid off in the case of Ross Barkley. The move to bring in Vint appears to be Everton's way of trying to get a leg up on other Academy's and have the potential to increase the output they receive from the academy. Being able to constantly restock a team with talented youngsters can only benefit a historically cash-strapped team like Everton.
While it remains to be seen if Vint will succeed in a sport that he has little experience in, his time with the USOC is certainly impressive. Vint has been credited as a big reason for the United States' success at the 2012 London Olympics and certainly appears to be well versed in improving the performance of the athlete's he oversees.
Excerpts below from Peter Vint and Everton manager Roberto Martinez are from the Everton site.
Vint's comment upon his appointment -
"The reputation of Everton Football Club and its Academy is world-renowned and I am really excited about beginning my work at the Club.
"Everton has an unparalleled history and an inspiring connection to the local community. The Club also takes great pride in finding and developing exceptional young footballers and placing Academy graduates on a path towards our first team.
"I have been impressed with members of the Club's excellent staff and the environment the Club has created for the young footballers under our care. What has been most compelling to me, however, and ultimately has led to my decision to join the Club, is Everton's genuine willingness to challenge the status quo and challenge ourselves as individuals to be even better. In the world of high performance sport, this is often said but rarely done. I am truly grateful and I am genuinely excited for this great opportunity to lead Everton's Academy as the new Director."
Martinez also voiced his excitement at working with Vint -
"As a football club, we are committed to taking our Academy and the development of our youngsters to a new level.
"The way we've been consistently creating paths for youngsters to develop means we are fully aware of how good our football programme is in our Academy. And it's really exciting to have secured a person with the experience of Peter, someone who has always had a meticulous focus on all aspects of performance, someone who we believe will make a big contribution to our entire Academy system and someone who will improve the performance of our programme even more.
"That's not just on the players' performance, it's about helping every single member of the structure, from our coaches, to having a good relationship with the parents, who play a massive part in the development of the youngsters. He will be able to provide a highly informed picture on what the development of a young player needs.
"What Peter will bring is the extra, invaluable element of performance to allow our young players and staff to become as good as they can be in their jobs.
"This Club has a long tradition of being pioneering in football and so we are genuinely excited about an appointment that is progressive in the British game, an appointment that I think will benefit our development pathway immensely."