The Football Association is set to bolster its player and coaching development programme after headhunting Southampton Academy Manager Matt Crocker.
Saints confirmed Crocker is set to make the switch to the FA later this year after helping to establish one of the most renowned youth development programmes in the land at club level.
Welshman Crocker, who will work under the FA’s new Director of Elite Development Dan Ashworth, joined the Saints seven years ago from The Football League’s youth development department.
Crocker will be employed by The FA as Head of Coach & Player Development and Saints Chief Executive Nicola Cortese admitted he would be missed on the south coast.
“Matt will leave us with the best wishes of everybody associated with the club,” said Cortese. “He has given Southampton seven years of hard work and dedication, and played an important part in developing the academy that we have today.”
“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.”
“Matt will be hard to replace, but we expect serious interest from exceptional candidates who will be desperate to work for an Academy with a reputation such as ours.”
Crocker will remain at Southampton and assist in the recruitment process for his successor before moving to the FA.