Paul Holland takes on Long Eaton academy role

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Former Ilkeston FC boss Paul Holland has accepted a role as Long Eaton United’s head of football development which will begin next season.

Holland, whose playing career saw him turn out for clubs including Chesterfield, Mansfield Town and Bristol City, recently left his role at the New Manor Ground and was replaced by Shaun Goater.

But having spent a lot of time working with the much-lauded Ilkeston academy over the last few years, he will now work with United’s new under-18 squad.

Chairman Jim Fairley said: “For some time we’ve been clear that we’ve wanted to bridge the gap between our youth and senior sections.

“Before pressing ahead we wanted to ensure that our facilities could match our ambitions and then to recruit the appropriate leader to take us forward.

“Our facilities are now second to none and in Paul we are confident we have the right person with the appropriate playing and coaching credentials to give the best chance of success.”

Holland added: “I am excited by the opportunity at Long Eaton United Football Club.

“The club is ambitious for both its senior and youth sections and hopefully my experience in professional football and more recently developing quality academy players will help us achieve those goals.”

His role will also include advising on the establishment of a new academy at Grange Park which, in conjunction with Loughborough College, will create a football excellence and education programme to attract, develop and retain quality youth players as well as helping the club achieve its defined core social responsibilities.

Loughborough College’s Matt O’Dowd said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Long Eaton United on this programme and are all looking forward to helping to provide first class education and sporting opportunities for local youngsters.”

Club director Nick Dargan added: “We have an existing group of talented U16s playing in this season’s national Nerf Junior Premier League, most of whom have spent time in professional club academies.

“We also have a number of excellent teams progressing through the club at the younger age groups.

“We are keen to give them the best chance of progressing and we are confident that Paul, with his history of developing young players, is the right person to take them forward and will be successful in bringing many of them through to top senior football when the time is right.”