Frickley Athletic's new academy head is "key appointment" for club

Frickley Athletic's new head of academy Jay Roper.
Frickley Athletic's new head of academy Jay Roper.

Sporting director Spencer Fearn has hailed the acquisition of Jay Roper as Frickley Athletic’s new head of academy as a “key appointment”.

Jay is an industry leading learning and development practitioner and coach development advisor at UK Sport (the nation’s high-performance sports agency who have the mission of leading Olympic and Paralympic sport in the UK to world class success).

After announcing bringing Jay on board at Westfield Lane, Fearn said: “This is a key appointment for the football club.

“I have worked with Jay for a couple of years in the professional game and he is a person that has always stood out in terms of his values, coaching beliefs and ability.

“Having Jay on board will give support to our coaches and players across the academy as we look to build on the fantastic work that has already taken place.”

Prior to joining UK Sport in November 2018 Jay worked for The FA as vocational education lead. He is also a UEFA A Licence qualified football coach and has coached youngsters at Sheffield Wednesday as well as scouted for Sheffield United.

He said: “There are good people at the club and it seems an exciting time to join a club who genuinely look to want to try and break the mould and do it differently in non-league.

“I hope to be able to support the people involved at Frickley Athletic to grow so that we can help others develop as people, players and improve standards on and off the pitch. The culture and values of the club very much align with my own and this is a critical deciding factor for me getting involved.

“I’ve been around football for 25 years, coached for 17 years and been involved in coach education and coach/people development for over a decade. I’ve seen and been a part of some great things during my time across both grassroots and elite performance environments, which I hope to bring with me and share.

“I’ve also seen some stuff that is far from ideal and I’ll be making sure I influence those around me, if needed, to ensure we don’t fall into the same traps. I see this as a great opportunity to experiment with and test ideas, always with the development of people at the heart of our decisions, directly in line with the club’s vision and mission.”

Jay added: “I’m excited to see what the future holds for Frickley and the local community. There’s a strategy being formed that stands to provide amazing opportunities for young people in the local community and I feel privileged to have been earmarked as someone who can come in and help the club and the community to achieve the ambitious goals being set out.

“I firmly believe better coaches enable opportunity for people to grow more through positive environments. Better people make better members of the community, as well as players for the club and beyond. I see it as my role to help people be as good as they can be so that as a club, and as coaches, we can support the development of better young people who will better service the community, the club and improve their future prospects both in and out of football.”