Blackpool Football Club is delighted to announce the appointment of Ciaran Donnelly as the Club’s new Academy Director.
Donnelly, 36, has a long association with the Seasiders, serving the Club as both a player and a coach as well as Academy Manager before leaving for Fleetwood Town in 2017.
Returning to Bloomfield Road as Academy Director, Donnelly will spearhead the Club’s exciting vision for the future by building a strong and sustainable youth set-up, which the Club sees as a vital component in realising its aspirations to compete at the highest attainable level.
On his appointment, Donnelly said:
“I’m delighted to be returning to the Club that is home to me after three years away. The potential to achieve something great as an Academy and a Club is now very much real. It feels like a new Blackpool Football Club and I can’t wait to get started.
“The whole club feels fresh and on the cusp of something special and returning to be a part of that was just something that ignited real passion inside of me. With the support of the Academy staff and other key stakeholders amongst the Club I want to finally deliver an Academy that the Club’s supporters can be proud of and feel engaged with.
“I have spent my life in the town and it’s now time that the youngsters of the Fylde coast now had an elite level academy on their doorstep. I am determined to deliver that and help produce home grown players for the first team in years to come.
“I want to thank Simon, Ben, Brett and Neil for giving me this opportunity to help the Club achieve its aspirations. I am convinced that the future is bright for the Club.”
Owner Simon Sadler said:
“I am thrilled to welcome Ciaran, a fellow Warbreck Old Boy, back to Bloomfield Road as Academy Director.
“As we’ve previously stated, we see the Academy as of one of the three pillars along with Coaching and Recruitment, that are needed to build a sustainable future for Blackpool Football Club.
“I am confident Ciaran will be just the person we need to help us realise our aim of becoming the best Category 3 Football Academy in the country with an aspiration of progressing to Category 2 and in doing so develop players from our local community to ultimately step out in tangerine for the first team at Bloomfield Road.”