Bradford City AFC is delighted to announce the appointment of Mark Litherland as the club’s new head of academy.
An experienced operator in academy football, Litherland arrives at the University of Bradford Stadium following a spell as academy manager of Rochdale.
While in a similar role at Bury, where he spent eight years, he oversaw the sale of 26 players - as well as seeing over 30 academy products appearing for the first team - before taking on the academy manager job at Bolton Wanderers.
Litherland said: “It feels great to be here. I have been welcomed by all the staff with open arms and am really enjoying it so far.
“It is evident that the work of Neil Matthews, god bless his soul, and the rest of the staff has been top drawer to get the academy to where it is today. That has been evident to me from day one.
“I just want to follow that on and build on it to improve us and help the academy get better and better, to the point where it is one of the best in the north of England.
“For me, an academy is a family, and we want to be a really strong family because there are 91 other football clubs out there who want to beat us. The environment is key, and I can tell just by being in for four days that we are in a really good place. The players enjoy their work, and long may that continue.
“I have spoken to the manager and he is very keen on youth development, and from my point of view that is perfect. We want to be developing international players and Premier League players for the future.
“There is masses of experience already in the academy, and I am looking forward to trying to make us the best category three side out there, and pushing on from that.”
City’s chief executive officer, Ryan Sparks, said: “We are delighted to have Mark on board, and believe he can be a real asset for our football club.
“He has a fantastic track record and is a good person who will work extremely hard for Bradford City, and further enhance the positive culture of the academy.
“Our academy is one of the best at category three level in the country, and Mark has a great base to work from, alongside excellent staff.
“I am looking forward to seeing how he shapes our junior setup in the months and years ahead, on the back of terrific work done by the late, great Neil Matthews.”