Carl Darlington: Head of Academy Coaching at Everton FC
Carl Darlington has been unveiled as the new Head of Academy Coaching at English Premiership club Everton. The Football Careers client joins the Toffees after 17 years as a mainstay with the Football Association of Wales (FAW) where he has been Head of Coach Education since 2010.
Now UEFA Pro Licence holder and Assistant Pro Licence tutor Darlington will be a key figure within an admired coaching and player development programme in an Academy that has become renowned for producing local talents like Wayne Rooney in the past and current first team star Anthony Gordon.
Carl, though, could not take up his new challenge without reflecting on the pride he felt playing his role in his country’s resurgence as a footballing power over the last two decades.
He said: “I have been so fortunate to be a part of the FAW for the past 17 years. As a proud Welshman it is with a heavy heart that I’ve decided to take on a new challenge.
“During my 17 years I’ve been very fortunate to work with amazing people who have helped shape Welsh football into what it is today.”
Darlington’s telling influence on the shape of coach education in his homeland cannot be ignored. Wales has become a go-to destination in this sphere and the fact that the likes of Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, Patrick Vieira, Nottingham Forest Head Coach Steve Cooper, Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill and Middlesbrough’s Chris Wilder chose to do the Pro Licence there speaks volumes.
Carl stressed: “I’m privileged and honoured to have worked in two main areas, player development and coach education.
“Coach Education was built on strong foundations and has grown from strength to strength. We aspire to be a world class coaching nation and I feel we have moved closer to our destination.
“I was always told: ‘Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.’ That was the FAW.”
Now Carl has an exciting new challenge at a club who have gone through an Academy overhaul this summer. Darlington will work together with the Academy Coaches and the club’s Coach Educator to continue providing a conveyor belt of talent who dream of making Frank Lampard’s first team.
Part of the Goodison Park restructure on the youth side saw Academy Director Gareth Prosser appointed this summer. Everton legend Leighton Baines was named Under-18s Head Coach and Carl’s fellow Football Careers client James Vaughan – a youth prodigy with the Toffees as a player – was appointed Loans Pathways Manager.
Carl also brings the experience of a successful career in club football to the table having occupied key roles at Wrexham and The New Saints when he was working with the FAW.
New Academy Director Prosser said: “We are delighted to appoint Carl, a hugely-respected coach who has proven his expertise over a long period of time.
“He was integral to helping Wales become a world-class coaching nation and is a leader in player development and coach education. Carl is another key appointment for our Academy as we place increased emphasis on the personal and player development as the key focus throughout Everton’s youth operation.”