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Town's Academy set-up Staff Care programme

7 March 2024


Town's Academy set-up Staff Care programme

7 March 2024

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Fleetwood Town Football Club have established an innovative Staff Care programme to support the personal and professional development of its Academy staff.

The Staff Care programme is led by Dr. Nick Wadsworth, a Sport Psychologist, Senior Lecturer of Applied Sport Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University and Director of M-A-P Performance Ltd.

Supporting the players is a huge part of any Academy, but making them feel like people and as well as performers, but this programme is now in place so the Club do the same with their members of staff because sustainable high-level performance can’t be achieved until you have a good level of wellbeing.

Jack Higgins, Town’s Academy Manager said: “It’s a project we launched 18-months ago within the Academy.

“I just felt with the pace in which we were growing and the types of personalities, we were recruiting within the staff workforce, we needed that additional layer of support for staff in what can be a relentless industry.

"Without Staff Care, it’s difficult to protect the quality of your Player Care.”


Dr. Nick Wadsworth added: “I was really pleased with the openness of all the Academy staff here at Fleetwood Town. Both Jack and I started the process really, with a willingness to show our vulnerability from the start and it gathered pace from there really.

“We now have a huge engagement from staff across the football club in what is very much an optional programme. We are really passionate about giving staff a voice, both openly and confidentially, and a place of trust in which they can speak openly and honestly about how they are feeling.

“It’s created some really positive discussion across the whole Academy as we come closer to finding the optimum balance of high challenge, high support, across the workforce.”

The Staff Care programme is now in it’s second season and was labelled as “Outstanding Practice” by the Professional Games Academy Audit Company (PGAAC) in the Academy’s 2022-2023 audit.

This resulted in further growth and outreach of the programme to support wider than the Academy workforce, with the programme nearly doubling for the 2023-2024 season.


The outcomes of the Staff Care programme are:

  • Improve staff mental health & wellbeing
  • Develop understanding of a high-performance environment
  • Develop staff behaviours and communication
  • Support personal and professional development

Higgins added: “We are really pleased with how the programme has progressed. Despite only coming in one-day a week, Nick has built some incredible relationships with our staff and has a high value within our building.

“He’s an excellent practitioner. It’s not necessarily always the information that he brings, but his skill of asking the right question, at the right time, to challenge thinking and self-discovery. He’s been a great support for staff.”

Make sure to follow all our Academy news on their official X account and official Facebook page! Team news will be announced at 10am with key updates on social media.

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