Fleetwood Town are delighted to confirm the appointment of Jack Higgins as Academy Manager.
Higgins arrives from Premier League side Burnley where he worked as Head of Education for three years.
The 29-year-old, who will be tasked with taking the Academy to the next level by managing the transition to Category 2 status, replaces Ciaran Donnelly who left the club earlier in the month.
Town chairman Andy Pilley recently revealed an application for the youth Academy to move from Category 3 to Category 2 in time for the start of the 2021/22 season had been inputted to the Council.
He believes the appointment of Higgins will be a huge step towards achieving the club’s ambitions:
“We are delighted to be able to attract Jack to Fleetwood Town, he’s a hugely impressive person and someone who will help us take our Academy to the next level,” said Andy.
“As a club, we have made a huge commitment to developing talent for the future and we are determined to watch it grow further. Jack’s appointment gives us someone with experience of working at a Premier League Academy and it’s that level of standards we aim to bring to Fleetwood Town going forward.
“We remain fully committed to developing our outstanding academy further to ensure the stars of the future are produced here on the Fylde coast with Fleetwood Town.”
To facilitate the growth plans the club are also in the process of submitting planning permission to the Council for a seven-figure investment in an indoor full-size pitch which see Poolfoot Farm develop into one of the most advanced sporting facilities in the country.
The club currently operates a Category 3 Academy, running 10 teams from the Under-9 age group through to U23s. The club employs 12 full-time and 20 part-time staff in its Academy, and it is expected this investment will see those numbers grow further.
And it was the club’s ambition to develop the Academy which was the main attraction for Higgins.
“The fact that club wants to move forward was the biggest stand-out for me,” he explained.
"The chairman has been a huge part of the growth and the development of this football club over the last 15 years. The club has moved phenomenally, both on and off the pitch, in that time and from my last role at Burnley, this was probably the only club I was going to make the step to at this stage in my career.
"I think the club and myself have quite similar values in terms of the fact that the club is a dynamic one that wants to continue to strive for success and continues to move forwards.
"It wants to work differently to their rivals and in that respect, myself as a professional, finds those values similar to the ones I share - developing the person and challenging the player and it was that which attracted me the most - watching young people develop on and off the pitch.
"I’m an ambitious young man and that’s something that ticked a huge box that the club wants to continue to succeed and move towards the Championship, at the first-team level, and continue to invest in the academy.
"Huge positives all around, it will be a challenge, but it is one that I’m open to.”