Spennymoor Town have announced that Andy Lowe has been given the role as the club’s first ever full-time equivalent Head of Academy.
Lowe was selected ahead of more than 30 candidates ranging from China to the USA. He has accumulated a vast array of experiences and knowledge from a career which spans 20 years, ranging from being a P.E teacher, to a UEFA A-licensed coach, coach educator and author.
A Spennymoor local, he played for the club as a youngster and went on to play at a semi-professional level, before going on to coach for the likes of Middlesbrough and Darlington. Lowe is part of the FA as a Lead Coach Educator and County Coach Developer, developing and leading courses up to UEFA B level for the National Governing Body.
He said: “It’s a huge honour to be appointed as Head of Academy. I was brought up in the town, lived here and went to school in Spennymoor. I also taught in the town’s Secondary School for ten years, so I have a real affinity with the area.
“To have this role and to be tasked with trying to build and establish the academy in line with the club’s ambition is an absolute honour. I have amassed a lot of experience over the past twenty years in coaching players, educating coaches and in education, so to be able to use that knowledge and expertise to develop players and coaches in my hometown club is a fabulous opportunity.
“Every player and coach we see in the professional game and indeed non-league have started at grassroot level and this is why this role really excites me. The aim is to develop the players in the academy and ensure realistic and tangible development pathways, be that for the first team, education or other careers, the player needs to be at the heart and process of what we do.
“Not every child will be a professional footballer, but every child can enjoy their experience in the game, and it is these values that we will be looking to build upon and develop over the coming years. After meeting with the board, we all have one thing in common and that is to develop Spennymoor Town academy into an academy where player development, life experiences and future opportunities are an integral part of the players’ journey. The club have a variety of plans and the future really is exciting.
“I aim to use the next few months to see what’s in place, then it’s looking at the longer-term strategy and structure over the following months. I am a big believer that if you create the environment where players can develop and coaches can improve, invariably you create a positive learning environment for all concerned. I am ambitious and I know the club is, so I’d love to see eleven academy players start for the first team one day.”
Managing Director Tony Wilson felt Lowe stood out from over 30 applicants because of his educational background and links with the FA. He said: “The way that Andy has progressed through the FA was a big factor for us.
“He also lives in Spennymoor and is a Moors fan, so he was the stand out candidate for me, Jason and Dave Mills. Andy believes in what we are doing having seen the club progress over the last 20 years.”
“The club would also like to thank Ryan Murray for his dedication to the role on a part time basis over the last six and a half years. Murray has been at the forefront of significant developments in the academy structure and growth in recent years, and the work he has done has laid the foundations for the future.”