Former Derby County academy director and interim head coach Darren Wassall has joined the English Football League (EFL) as the Head of Youth Development, the organisation have officially announced.
Wassall had been in his role with the Rams for 14 years but left in May 2023, having overseen the progression of 45 academy players into the first-team, all of which earned a combined total of over 1,200 minutes.
Some of these graduates included Republic of Ireland internationals Jeff Hendrick, Jason Knight and Richard Keogh, Crystal Palace midfielder Will Hughes and even Hull City target Max Bird who is currently playing for the club.
Derby County also earned a Category 1 status under the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) in 2014 which Wassall gave a huge helping hand in achieving for the club.
Furthermore, the ex-Manchester City defender took over as the interim head coach of the first-team in 2016 after Paul Clement’s dismissal and guided the East Midlands club to the EFL Championship playoffs.
Now, Wassall will take over from former Leeds United defender David Wetherall as the EFL’s Head of Youth Development.
Speaking at the announcement of his appointment, Wassall said:
“All the experiences I’ve had at Derby will stand me in good stead for this role.
“It’s about trying to help the rest of the 72 EFL Academy Managers and Clubs to continue their brilliant work and to keep improving standards for the next generation of players.
“It is an exciting role and after only leaving Derby in May, it was almost perfect timing for this new challenge.”
Darren Wassall is a great choice to succeed Wetherall as the Head of Youth Development for the EFL and his record at Derby County certainly speaks for itself.
The 55-year-old did a tremendous job with the Rams and the EFL will undoubtedly reap the benefits of having his knowledge and expertise spread out across all three divisions.