Youth Development Phase Lead Coach David Freeman has become a full-time member of the Burton Albion academy.
Freeman, a former professional footballer who was capped by the Republic of Ireland up to under 21s level, joined the academy last year and was part of the under 16s coaching staff before moving into a full-time role overseeing the development from under 12s to under 16s ahead of the new season.
The former Nottingham Forest man has expressed his delight at continuing his journey with an academy that he feels is going “from strength to strength”.
He said: “I’m delighted to be involved, this is what I want to do, be involved full-time. I am very lucky that I have been given the opportunity and very lucky that I know most of the staff because I have been involved with the staff for the last year with the under 16s.
“It’s brilliant, in the time that I have been here the academy has made great strides. I think that if you look at the facilities we have across the academy and what we have at our disposal using St George’s Park and here at the Pirelli Stadium. I think it is a really attractive way of recruiting players and I think the academy is going from strength to strength.”
Freeman started his career at Nottingham Forest, before moving to Ireland, embarking on a successful career in his home country.
The former midfielder made 30 league appearances for St Patrick’s Athletic and scored the winning goal in the 2003 League of Ireland Cup final against Longford Town. Freeman played for a further eight years making at least 21 league appearances in each season between 2003 and 2011 for seven different clubs. He finished his career with 245 league appearances to his name, scoring 37 goals.
Freeman hopes that his experience in football can help to develop the next generation of Burton Albion players.
“It (experience) helps a little bit because I have followed a path similar to the one that they are on and I know what is involved in terms of the hard work, dedication and the sacrifices that you have to make to get there. I am really going to enjoy helping them, passing on knowledge and if I can help them in some way then that will be brilliant.”
Academy Manager Dan Robinson said:
“We are delighted to have Dave on board in a full-time capacity, his experience as a former professional and coaching with our Academy last year will make him an invaluable addition to our team.”