By Joe Ellis

20th Jun, 2022 | 2:45pm

Everton announce major academy staff changes, Gareth Prosser takes charge

Everton have made major changes to the staffing of their academy with a new Academy Director brought in and two others promoted.

Gareth Prosser has been given the big role as the new Academy Director at Finch Farm, as the club announced on Monday 20 June, to replace David Unsworth who left the club to pursue new options at the end of the 2021-22 campaign.

Below Prosser, Paul Tait has been promoted from being Under-18s head coach to the Under-21s side, a role also held by Unsworth previously, while his position has been filled by Goodison Park icon Leighton Baines.

“I am delighted and very proud with the opportunity to lead Everton Academy,” Prosser said. “The target is clear: to create a best-in-class academy programme that will allow Everton to attract, recruit and develop top people; players and staff.”

Toffees Director of Football Kevin Thelwell has twice worked alongside Prosser at previous clubs Derby County and Wolves and is set to work closely with him again with this appointment

Good timing

However long these changes have been all done and dusted, now is the ideal time to confirm them to the world with the club’s players set to return to pre-season training in the coming days ahead of what could be a very intense 2022-23 season.

After the diabolical campaign the first team endured last term, there is no guarantee that any of Frank Lampard’s senior players are assured of their place in the starting XI for the first game of the season.

So pre-season could be the catalyst for some of the club’s academy stars to vault themselves into the sights of the boss and having the staff in place is an important part of their chances.

Tait has worked with the vast majority of these youngsters already in the Under-18s so the transition should be smooth and the same could be said of Baines who has coached in the academy for a while but never as the main man.