Everton confirm key Academy appointment as Leighton Baines lands important new role

Leighton Baines has become Everton’s under-18s coach.

<p>Everton hero Leighton Baines. Picture: Lynne Cameron/Getty Images</p>

Everton hero Leighton Baines. Picture: Lynne Cameron/Getty Images

Everton have confirmed that Gareth Prosser has been appointed the club’s new academy director.

Prosser succeeds David Unsworth in the role after he departed from his post in April.

Sign up to our LiverpoolWorld Today newsletter

Meanwhile, Paul Tait takes over Unsworth’s responsibilities as under-21s head coach.

And Goodison Park hero Leighton Baines is now Everton’s under-18s boss, having served as the club’s professional development coach.

Prosser worked with Blues director of football Kevin Thelwell at Wolves, while he most recently was general manager of the Professional Game Academy Audit Company.

What’s been said

Speaking to Everton’s club website on his arrival, Prosser said: “I am delighted and very proud with the opportunity to lead Everton Academy.

“Throughout the interview process, it was clear from our CEO Denise (Barrett-Baxendale) and Kevin the importance of the Academy moving forwards to support the ambitious aims of the Football Club.

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

“I look forward to working with the Academy, Denise, Kevin, Frank and the wider Club staff to ensure the programme is the best it can be to provide players with opportunities to represent this great club. We all need to work together to make this happen.

“I would also like to thank the Professional Game Academy Audit Board, chaired by Jane Purdon, and the PGAAC team for their support. The PGAAC has made great progress over the past three years, working in collaboration with the Premier League, EFL and the Football Association to ensure the Academy system operates safely and to help raise standards. I wish the company well for the future.”