- Wednesday January 31st, 2024 @ 17:45
Elliott Named Head Of Academy Football
St Patrick's Athletic are very pleased to announce the appointment of Stephen Elliott as our new Head of Academy Football.
The Republic of Ireland international started a full-time position at St Patrick's Athletic this week, as part of his new role, Stephen will also lead our U20s as Head Coach.
He'll work closely will newly appointed Director of Football Ger O'Brien and our existing Club and Academy staff.
Elliott, who holds a UEFA A Licence, joins us from EFL club Fleetwood Town, where he was Lead Coach of their U15 and U16 teams.
Stephen spoke to our Youtube channel shortly after beginning his new role:
"I'm delighted to be here. When I spoke to the club and Garrett Kelleher (Chairman) about the possibility of coming in, it really intrigued me.
Then once I chatted to Ger O'Brien (Director of Football) and Alan Mathews (Technical Director and Board Member) about what the role involved, it really got my juices flowing.
I'm really excited about coming in and helping an already successful Academy thrive.
You only have to look at the FAI Cup final last year and the number of St Patrick's Athletic Academy players on the pitch at the end of the game, I think it was six in total, from Jamie Lennon to Mason Melia, which tells you there is a clear pathway here for young players to progress and have careers with us.
If I can come in and help to improve something that is already brilliant, it is exciting for everybody."
The former striker made over 300 professional appearances during his 15 year career, with Manchester City, Sunderland, Wolves, Preston North End, Hearts and Drogheda United among his former clubs.
Elliott retired in 2018 and moved into coaching at Sunderland University as he began his coaching journey.
Prior to his time at Fleetwood, Stephen was Head of Academy at Darlington FC, combining that role with his job as a media pundit and co-commentator across a number of Irish and UK radio stations.
He's been impressed with what he's seen so far:
"I've had a look around the Academy training centre at TU Dublin Blanchardstown, it's one of the best facilities in the country and having met with and spoken to all of the coaches and Academy staff and some of the players, I think there is a real feel good factor around the place.
I'll bring energy, a new face and a new voice to add to that is already here, and hopefully we can all continue to work together.
As well as his role as Head of Academy Football, Stephen will be our new U20 Head Coach, replacing Niall Cully who will depart the club next month to take up a position in the Plymouth Argyle Academy.
Elliott is looking forward to the challenge:
"It will be great to be hands on on the training pitch and work closely with the U20s players and staff.
I watched the boys train last night and spoke to the squad briefly, it's an exciting and talented group of players, many of whom are already in and around our First Team, we want to help continue their progression and help them prepare for the next step.
Having been around the club for the last couple of days, I really feel there is something special happening here and I'm just delighted to be part of it."
St Patrick's Athletic General Manager Anthony Delaney said:
"We're delighted to welcome Stephen to the club and wish him well in his new role.
The St Patrick's Athletic Academy has been best in class for a number of years, we're very proud of our successes on the pitch and also the number of young players who have progressed from our Academy teams to our First Team, with a significant number moving further afield and also playing international football during their time with us.
Stephen's experience and knowledge will be of huge help to all of our Academy players and coaches, as we look to continue the excellent work of recent years and improve as we go.
We wish Ger O'Brien as Director of Football and Technical Director and Board Member Alan Mathews all the best in their new positions and also thank Niall Cully for his outstanding contribution to the club in both his role in our Academy for the last five years and as our Community Officer for the last two years, we wish Niall well with his move to the UK.
It's an exciting time for St Patrick's Athletic on and off the pitch, we feel Stephen's appointment will add to our already successful Academy and we're looking forward to having him on board."
Stephen will be available for interview in the coming weeks ahead of the start of the new EA Sports LOI Academy season next month