Head of PDP Athletic Development (17-23)

Full Time
12 / 02

To design and deliver systems aimed at developing players who are durable, resistant to injury and possess a level of physicality that enables them to execute the technical and tactical skills required to support an effective transition to senior football.

Full description

The Role:

  • To be instrumental in the delivery of comprehensive physical preparation programmes, based on sound strength and conditioning and physiology principles.
  • To achieve harmony between the Physical Performance staff, Coaching staff and Medical staff through effective communication.
  • To develop a Coaching relationship that is conducive to developing players to play professional football at the highest levels.
  • To undertake duties and tasks as directed by the Academy Performance Support Manager and Head of Physical Performance.
  • To work closely with the key stakeholders in coordinating S&C, football science, and other input providers to achieve high levels of player physical wellbeing and development.
  • To identify and facilitate appropriate communication methods, to inform and educate players and coaches in the effective use of strength and conditioning and the benefits of applied science to performance.
  • To attend, contribute to and provide regular reports at timely intervals to key stakeholders to support the development of the Academy programme.
  • To ensure that every player is treated as a unique individual and is afforded the highest level of care and attention.
  • To support the implementation of the Manchester United LTAD plan to improve physical development throughout the PDP phase in line with First Team demands.
  • To implement the Manchester United assessment programme and ensure that it is age-specific, comprehensive and helps drive the Individual Development Plans of players through our Development Model.
  • To oversee the development of systematic training programmes for both teams and individual academy players. These will be delivered in close collaboration with coaches.
  • To create and implement sports science strategies in collaboration with colleagues to optimise the squad’s availability and preparedness throughout the season.

The Person:

  • To demonstrate the desire to engage with and support continuous professional development in areas that promote the development of a best-in-class learning and development environment
  • Minimum of 5 years working with elite sport/professional football academies
  • Knowledge of and ability to teach weightlifting and Olympic weightlifting techniques.
  • Ability to communicate complex data in terms that are easily understood by a wide range of audiences.
  • Excellent I.T. skills with experience of physical measurement and athlete analysis systems.
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to build meaningful, strong strategic relationships with Club staff and young players.
  • Experience of and enthusiasm for coaching and mentoring elite young people.
  • Ability to demonstrate good session planning and strong organisational skills.
  • Understanding of learning, development and high performance with a proven ability to create optimum learning environments for players.
  • Understanding and empathy with education and learning with a strong commitment to personal development and training.
  • Awareness of diversity and equality challenges in football.
  • Empathy and commitment to the long-term development of the game.
  • Willingness to work weekends.
  • Ability to travel independently.


  • Holder of a BSc/BA in Sports Science and MSc/MRes/MPhil in Sports Science (or other relevant discipline) from a recognised university, specialising in physical preparation of elite players
  • UKSCA Accredited Strength & Conditioning Coach (or international equivalent or BASES High Performance) or FA Fitness Trainers Award (or international equivalent)
  • Basic First Aid for Sport (BFAS) or equivalent/higher qualification


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