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Fulham announce academy reorganisation

Fulham have this morning announced a significant restructure of their academy staff, with existing academy director Huw Jennings becoming the club’s new head of football development.

Jennings, who has revolutionised Fulham’s academy since his appointment back in 2008, will now oversee the club’s domestic and international links to support post-Brexit recruitment, work specifically on guiding the club’s young players into the first team set-up and leading Fulham’s women side as they move into the academy structure after previously being under the Fulham foundation’s umbrella.

He told the club’s website: “After 12 seasons at the club, I am delighted to be moving into a new role. The academy under Mike Cave and the excellent academy staff team will continue to build the best academy for Fulham. We are as determined as ever to compete with the best young player development programmes in the country, and Colin’s appointment is a commitment to this objective. Similarly, the club recognises the importance of the current exciting era for women’s football, and I am looking forward to supporting head coach Steve Jaye and the team, as we build our programme for the future.”

Jennings’ duties as academy director will now be undertaken by Mike Cave, previously Fulham’s academy manager, and the current under 23s joint head coach Colin Omogbehin has been promoted to first team development coach. The club are currently recruiting for a new under 23s head coach to assume that role on a full time basis.

Silva starts work at Motspur Park

New Fulham boss Marco Silva has begun his first day at Motspur Park observing first-team training.

The Portuguese head coach, who was formally appointed to succeed Scott Parker at Craven Cottage last week, has been working remotely until now as he quarantined after travelling from his homeland. The Athletic reported this morning that Silva asked for detailed reports on every member of the club’s academy set-up.

UPDATE: There’s some footage of Silva’s first training session on the club’s website.

Fulham’s new training facilities unveiled

Fulham’s new and improved training facilities at Motspur Park were officially unveiled today at a ceremony attended by leading Premier League figures.

The latest improvements, which are integral to retaining Fulham’s coveted Category One academy status, were commemorated by a plaque in the newly-constructed all-weather dome which was revealed by Premier League chief executive Richard Scuadamore and director of football development Ged Roddy. The opening of the new facilities, which will used by the first team, youth teams and the club’s foundation, is the culmination of an intensive period of design and lobbying work that saw planning permission granted and a quick build to ensure the new training pitches were ready for use as swiftly as possible.

Fulham’s chief executive Alistair Mackintosh said:

It has taken a lot of hard work from many people to deliver on the master plan for the Motspur Park facility and they all deserve our thanks. However, the principal driver behind all of these improvements is our Chairman, Shahid Khan, whose commitment to the Football Club reaches far beyond First Team football, but into the very heart of what makes Fulham so special; its commitment to the past, the present and the future. By generously funding the extensive project of works, the Fulham team has a first class facility to train, our envied Academy can prosper, and the community will benefit from the excellent programmes our Foundation delivers. It is an accomplishment everyone involved with the Club should be proud of.

Academy director Huw Jennings added:

Maintaining our Category One status has an immeasurable impact on the Fulham Academy and one that is vital to our future success. We boast many impressive accomplishments with player development at the Club over the seasons which would not have been possible without both financial support, but also the belief in our methods and values as an Academy, and these facilities and our Cat 1 status are integral to ensuring we continue to progress,

Gray takes Fulham training

Stuart Gray took training at Fulham on Monday morning, according to Sky Sports News.

The Cottagers sacked Kit Symons as manager a month ago and Gray’s odds to replace him had been cut to as short as 1/8 at 2pm on Monday afternoon, although his price then started to drift.

Gray, 55, was manager at Sheffield Wednesday for 18 months before parting company with the Owls in June.

The former Southampton manager, who is rumoured to be being lined up for a caretaker role at Craven Cottage, has been out of work since leaving Sheffield Wednesday last summer.

Gray who has also managed Northampton Town, has been temporary manager at Aston Villa, Wolves, Burnley and Portsmouth over the years.

Fulham plan Motspur Park revamp

Fulham have detailed plans to rebuild their training ground to cater for their highly-rated academy at Motspur Park.

The Championship club have submitted a planning application to Kingston Council outlining plans to replace its indoor training facility, build a 500-capacity spectator area and a 103 overspill space car park. Details of the proposed featured in Saturday’s match day programme against Birmingham City at Craven Cottage.

A club spokesman said the proposed plans would be “essential in maintaining Fulham’s Category One designation” under the Elite Player Performance Plan.

He added: “The enhanced facilities will allow the club to bring back some of its community functions as well as providing increased opportunities for local schools to use the facilities for educational purposes.”

A public consultation on the plans took place with residents during the summer, the Fulham FC spokesman confirmed.