Everton: Leighton Baines part of academy changes

    Everton have announced changes to their youth setup which will include club legend Leighton Baines taking charge of the under-18s.

    Gareth Prosser has been named the club’s new academy director and will work closely with director of football Kevin Thelwell.

    Prosser previously worked alongside Thelwell at both Derby County and Wolverhampton Wanderers, joining Wolves in 2008 and progressing to become academy manager in 2013.

    He most recently worked for the Professional Game Academy Audit Company (PGAAC) which was set up to quality assure the youth development programs of all professional clubs in the country.

    Prosser said: “The target is clear: to create a best-in-class academy program that will allow Everton to attract, recruit and develop top people; players and staff.”

    Thelwell said Prosser was “an outstanding academy director”.

    Paul Tait (pictured with Baines) has been named as the new head coach of the club’s under-21 side having spent five years at under-18 level and his switch paves the way for Baines’ new role.

    “Despite Leighton being at the very start of his coaching journey, he has already demonstrated a high level of coaching capability and awareness around what players need to progress through the pathway,” said Thelwell.

    “These characteristics, among others, made him a standout candidate to become Under-18s Head Coach. Our young players will not only benefit from his outstanding experiences as a player but also his commitment to developing young players for the next stage of their careers.”

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