Paul Williams appointed Academy Director

The Club is delighted to announce the appointment of Paul Williams as Academy Director.

The former Derby County and Coventry City defender takes up a new role at the Club and is tasked with overseeing the vision and strategy of the Academy.

Working closely with the Academy Management Team, Williams will drive standards across all facets of the Academy and will ensure that the programme and coaching levels are befitting of a Category One Club.

A professional of over 15 years and 400 appearances, his vast experience and knowledge of the game aided his transition into the world of coaching.

Since hanging up his boots in 2005, the 50-year-old has held a range of coaching positions with the likes of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Southampton, Nottingham Forest, Swansea City, and West Bromwich Albion.

The Burton-born centre-back has also worked with England at various youth levels and became assistant to the Under-20s manager, Aidy Boothroyd, before taking over as interim manager in 2016.

Williams also served as an assistant to former Blues defender and Guyana Head Coach Michael Johnson, helping the Golden Jaguars to qualify for their first ever CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2019.

Most recently, he supported Darren Moore for five months as Sheffield Wednesday’s First Team Coach, before departing the Owls in July.

He returns to Blues for a second spell having previously worked under both Steve Cotterill and Lee Carsley during their time in the West Midlands.

Williams stepped in to assist Carsley who had taken charge of First Team matters on a temporary basis, following the departure of Harry Redknapp.

His position was made permanent following the arrival of Steve Cotterill and Williams was handed the role of Assistant First Team Coach.

Technical Director, Craig Gardner, believes Williams’ appointment is another important piece of the puzzle as the Club continue to add to the existing infrastructure.

“Paul is an extremely knowledgeable, likable and well-connected member of staff who is highly thought of by those in the game.

“His experience with England at development level and further work across a number of clubs, has provided him with a broad scope of the game and helped shape his views on Academy football.

“His insight and the expertise will be a huge benefit to all of our coaches and young players.

“He is someone who knows the Club already and understands what it takes to bring young players through the Academy system.

“Paul has a clear vision of how the Academy should function and there’s no doubt that he will improve our programme and ensure we have an Academy to be proud of.”

Regretfully, the Club has also received resignation of Head of Academy, Mike Dodds.

Dodds joined the Club in 2007 and played an important role in the emergence of several Academy graduates during his 14-year association with Blues.

His coaching career saw him ascend through the Academy age groups before being appointed Head of Academy in December 2020.

Dodds oversaw the Club’s pursuit of Category One Academy status and was at the forefront of the extensive application process.

The Board would like to place on record their thanks to Mike for his years of service to the Club and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.