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Everton appoint new Head of Academy Coaching

Innovative head of Welsh FA Coaching joins Everton as club overhaul continues

Stoke City v Wrexham - FA Cup Third Round Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Everton have announced the appointment of Carl Darlington as the new Head of Academy Coaching on the club website.

“Everton can confirm the appointment of Carl Darlington as the Club’s new Head of Academy Coaching.

“Darlington joins Everton after 17 years with the Football Association of Wales (FAW), the past 12 of which were spent as Head of Coach Education, setting the vision and strategy for the association and helping the FAW become one of the leaders in coach education.

“Under his leadership, the likes of Mikel Arteta, Patrick Vieira, Steve Cooper, Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill and Chris Wilder were among the coaches to choose the Wales Pro Licence course.”

Darlington also said farewell to the Welsh FA where he had worked for the past 17 years. He had spent the last 12 years as the Head of Coach Education. During this time he has also been a UEFA Pro Licence coach and Assistant Pro Licence tutor.

His responsibilities have been clearly outlined by the club and his background will most certainly fit in with the overhaul of the club that has been happening over the last year.

“At Everton, Darlington will be responsible for implementing and managing a coaching and player development programme across the Club’s renowned Academy, building on the existing philosophy in place. He will work closely with all the Academy Coaches, the Coach Educator and performance disciplines to ensure a collaborative approach to the development of the programme.

“Darlington will also work closely with Academy Director, Gareth Prosser, who joined the Club this summer as part of an Academy restructure that has seen Paul Tait and Leighton Baines named Under-21s and Under-18s Head Coaches respectively, and James Vaughan appointed Loans Pathways Manager.”

Darlington will be replacing former player John Ebbrell. The 52-year-old Ebbrell had been promoted to the position of Head of Academy Coaching and Under-23s Assistant Manager in November 2020, with the responsibility to oversee the Academy Coaching programme whilst continuing his role as assistant to Academy Director and Under-23s manager David Unsworth.

Now Ebbrell will move into a Player Development Senior Coach role and stays with the club. He had been expected to join Unsworth at Oldham Athletic in the National League where Unsworth has taken over as the new permanent manager as he attempts to bring the Latics back up into the English Football League. They will be playing against new media darlings Wrexham who were taken over by television and film personalities Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenny.

Everton’s Academy Director Gareth Prosser
Everton FC

Gareth Prosser, Everton’s Academy Director stated that,

“Carl is another key appointment for our Academy as we place increased emphasis on the personal and player development as the key focus throughout Everton’s youth operation.”

To have someone with Darlington’s experience and knowledge is another positive step forward. In order to raise the club up there needs to be a strong base from which to grow. That base is the youth system that can deliver quality players regularly. By raising the standards of our coaches and the work that they do with players throughout the team there should be further quality being developed.

Darlington’s impact will not be seen in the immediate results that our youth teams but rather in the years to come. On his Linkedin page he clearly outlines his philosophy, and it is not dissimilar to what Director of Football Kevin Thelwell has been espousing.

“I possess a forward thinking, tactically astute and relationship focused approach to modern football, I have played a key role in growing the FAW into one of the most respected and influential associations in the UEFA. Through exceptional leadership, man management and organisation skills I have combined these roles with a successful career in club football.”

Welcome to Everton!