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Inside the Academy

Aaron Connolly and Steven Alzate have progressed into the first-team set-up this season. It’s a clear indication that the club’s academy is going from strength to strength.

By Luke Nicoli • 15 April 2020

Steven Alzate and Aaron Connolly with the club's Academy staff.

We meet some of the key staff members playing an important role in this new series. First up it's Simon Rusk.

Job title: Under-23s coach

Job description: To manage the football club’s under-23 side.

How has the academy evolved in your time with the club?

Massively. We’ve gone from being a category three academy to category one in everything we do. The resources have grown and the staff and everything else have come on leaps and bounds.

By Paul Hazlewood
Simon Rusk

Has your job evolved too?

Absolutely. I’ve been under-18s manager and first-team coach, so I’ve had a variety of roles.

What have been the high points for you?

There’s been a lot. The under-23s coming through and representing the first team in the Premier League is great and it makes me very proud.

What are your hopes for the academy in the next two or three years?

To see more of the same. We want to keep growing and to carry on helping the first team with players, while being part of a successful club.

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