The FA have completed the appointment of Matt Crocker as the Head of Coach and Player Development at the St. George's Park site.

The position is a new one, created following The FA's completion of constructing a permanent home for English football, at the Burton complex.

Crocker, Southampton Academy Manager for seven years, will complete a transition period with the Premier League club before moving on to take up his new role with The FA.

In his role as Head of Coach and Player Development, Crocker will team up with Director of Elite Development Dan Ashworth, and be involved in the management of The FA's section of the Elite Player Performance Plan.

Crocker was headhunted by The FA after the remarkable development and education programme he oversees at Southampton, a club which has produced the likes of Theo Walcott, Gareth Bale, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Luke Shaw under his tenure. Southampton have won large acclaim not only for their development programme for young players, but also for providing good education and a genuine opportunity at breaking into the first team set-up.

Southampton executive chairman, Nicola Cortese, has ensured this tradition has been continued since his arrival in 2009. Alan Pardew handed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain his debut against Huddersfield Town.

Nigel Adkins oversaw the transition of Luke Shaw from academy graduate to Premier League regular, and that tradition now looks set to be continued by current incumbent Mauricio Pochettino.

Speaking to the club's official website, Cortese commented: "Matt will leave us with the best wishes of everybody associated with the Club. He has given Southampton seven years of hard work and dedication, and played an important part in developing the Academy that we have today."

Despite his disappointment at losing such a figure from the academy set-up, Cortese revealed his pride: "Although we are sad to lose a talented member of staff, it is an honour to see the work of a Southampton employee recognised by The FA. We are ranked as the best Academy for producing players for the English national teams, so it is no surprise that they have turned to Matt for this vital role."

The FA have agreed to allow Crocker to assist in the search for a successor at the south coast club, as well as completing a full handover period before he departs the club's Staplewood base.


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