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Tottenham academy director John McDermott leaves for FA

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McDermott was in charge of identifying and developing academy talent at Spurs

Wigan Athletic v Tottenham Hotspur - FA Youth Cup: Fourth Round Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur announced a departure today from its coaching staff. Academy Director and Head of Player Development John McDermott is leaving for a position with the Football Association, where he will serve as Assistant Technical Director under his friend Gareth Southgate.

McDermott has run Tottenham’s academy for the past 15 years and has overseen the development of dozens of youth players out of Spurs’ academy. He closely worked with not only Jose Mourinho but also Mauricio Pochettino and helped develop players such as Harry Kane and Harry Winks as they graduated from underage football to full-fledged members of the senior squad.

In a statement on Tottenham’s website, McDermott said how much he appreciated his opportunities at Spurs, but that it was time to try something new.

“I am extremely grateful to the Board who have entrusted and supported me and our Academy staff throughout my tenure.

“Leaving colleagues and players is without doubt the toughest decision I’ve had to make; the camaraderie across the Club, from the Academy to the First Team, makes working here such a special place.

“I may be biased, but I doubt that any other club in the country has a sense of purpose and work ethic that the Academy staff, past and present, has shown to our players. It has been a privilege to work alongside some of the best player developers in the country.”

Losing McDermott is a blow, and the club didn’t announce an immediate replacement. According to the Evening Standard, Spurs will conduct a search for his replacement. Whoever that person is has some pretty big shoes to fill.