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It might have been a surprise when Burnley dispensed with the services of academy manager Jon Pepper, but it is no surprise to see Paul Jenkins step into the academy director role as his successor.

Jenkins has been acting as an advisor for ALK but has today been confirmed in the new role and brings a vast amount of experience to Burnley from his time at Middlesbrough. His work there saw him involved with the youth team, bringing on players such as Stewart Downing, Lee Cattermole and Ben Gibson, before working his way through to becoming first team coach during the 2016/17 season.

Jenkins, who will report to club director Mike Smith, said: “It is an honour to be taking on the role of academy director at Burnley Football Club and I look forward to working with a talented group of young players at a truly world class academy.

“Having worked with Alan Pace and Mike Smith at ALK Capital over the last year, their vision and strategy for the long term future of Burnley Football Club is an exciting one. It very much aligns with how I believe we can develop the academy, its recruitment of players both nationally and internationally, and how we can use innovation and data to support current practices within our club.

“What I hope to achieve is to create a legacy of good practice for both players and staff, have a positive reputation for giving players an opportunity to maximise their potential which may take them into our first team playing in the Premier League.”

Smith said: “We’re very proud of the academy and its foundation. Now we look forward to working with Paul to take our academy to the next level with Category 1 status. We will be making use of new technology and our increasing network of scouts and club partners across the British Isles and globally to find the best young talent to bring to Burnley.”

Up the Clarets, while not having the same involvement at this level as was once the case, are still very much supporters of our academy and we wish Paul Jenkins well in his new role.

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