The departure of long time Tottenham Hotspur academy director John McDermott this past March left a pretty large hole in Spurs’ training setup. McDermott, who was responsible for the development of youth at all stages of development at Tottenham’s academy, left to join Gareth Southgate in the England setup, and the COVID-19 shutdown delayed Tottenham’s plans to revamp its staff.
Today, Spurs announced a number of changes to its academy staff. The biggest is the promotion of McDermott’s #2, Dean Rastrick, to the top position as overall Academy Director. The change that fans will probably care about the most however is the promotion of former Spurs academy graduate and first team midfielder Ryan Mason from U19s head coach to a new position as Head of Player Development, Under-17 to Under-23. It’s a great shift for Mason, who has been steadily climbing the coaching ranks within the club since he was first appointed a couple of years ago.
The final significant change is the appointment of former Charlton and Huddersfield Town manager Chris Powell as Head of Coaching U17 through U23. Powell is a bit of an unknown but it would certainly benefit Spurs’ youngsters to have an experienced first team manager working with them from the beginning.
In a statement on Spurs’ website, chairman Daniel Levy said he was pleased with how the academy reorganization turned out.
“We have taken considerable time to review our staffing structure over the past few months following John McDermott’s departure to join the FA, in order to clearly identify roles and responsibilities in each area of the Academy moving forward.
“We have a proud record of producing Academy players that can step up to our First Team and we believe Dean is the right person to ensure our player development principles and philosophies – intrinsically linked to our identity as a Club – will continue to evolve and be implemented as we move forward into the new season and beyond.
“We have an incredibly talented coaching team in place throughout the Academy and we believe this structure will also allow them to continue to grow and develop over the coming years under Dean’s tutelage.”
The academy mostly works behind the scenes at a club, but the importance of having a solid academy setup is of utmost importance to a club like Spurs who have been known for bringing through players into the first team. Losing a long time leader like McDermott hurts, but he left behind a very good setup that is primed to continue to do good things under new leadership.