Under 18s coach to make Gunners switch
Under 18s coach Kwame Ampadu will make a return to Arsenal after 22 years next month when he joins the Gunners as an academy coach.
The 41-year-old, who made two appearances during his three years at Arsenal from 1988 to 1991, has been managing City’s Under 18s side for the last four years.
He will initially coach the Gunners’ Under 14s and the former midfielder, who played over 150 times for the Grecians, told the Official Website how he can’t wait to get started.
“I am delighted to receive a fantastic opportunity like this at such a huge club and I was really really happy to get the offer,” he said.
“I’ll be predominantly working full time with the Under 14s to begin with at a club where I spent three unbelievable years from 1988 after coming over from Ireland aged 17.
“Everyone knows the sort of club Arsenal is and what it stands for and luckily enough the way we try to play football in our youth set-up here at Exeter, trying to get the kids to pass the ball, is what they do there as well.
“Arsenal have a reputation of blooding young talent and City are very much in the same vein, if the managers think the players are good enough then they’ll play them.
“There are plenty of legendary figures throughout the set up at the club and I’ll just be going about my business quietly and keeping my head down!”
City Head of Youth Simon Hayward had nothing but praise for the work Kwame has put in during his four years with the club and believes it shows what a strong youth set-up the football club has.
“Congratulations to Kwame, it shows the calibre of work he has done with our young players,” he said.
“Hopefully it is also a good sign of the quality of our youth system in general that a club like that are coming and looking to recruit staff from our academy.
“Kwame has been a fantastic coach and he goes above and beyond with the work he puts in. He has been the key member of staff in terms of producing the young players who have stepped into the first team in the last few years.
“So I’m sorry to see such a key member of staff go but delighted to see he will have the opportunity with the club he started his playing career with which is one of, if not the best, academies in the county.”
Kwame isn’t the first member of staff at the Cat & Fiddle to move on to bigger and better things in recent years, as Simon explained.
“The first youth physio we had, Tom Rogers, was head-hunted at Swansea and our first match analyst Dave Lee moved off to the New York Red Bulls,” he said.
"Shaun Taylor, who was working with our Under 16s, went on to be Torquay’s Assistant Manager and Chris Hargreaves has just moved from the Under 16s to a job at Bournemouth.
“So Kwame is the fifth one in a very short space of time – we are not only providing young players with a development opportunity but staff as well.”
The club will shortly put together a job advert and a personal spec for who they’d like to come in and fill Kwame’s role – if this is something that interests you make sure you keep an eye out here on the Official Website.