Staff Profiles

Academy Staff

Nick Cox - Director of Academy

Three years after his arrival at United, Nick Cox was promoted to the Head of Academy role in 2019. Nick oversees the entire development programme, which begins with the Under-9s and concludes with the Under-21s.


Prior to joining United, Nick was involved in the development of Watford’s youngsters for 12 years and also spent time in the Academy system of Sheffield United.

Academy Leadership Team

By representing each area of the Academy programme, our leadership team is accountable for the positive environment that we create for our young players.


Nick Cox - Director of Academy
Adam Lawrence - Head of Player Development (U13-U16)
Dan Ransom - Lead Academy Psychologist
Dave Bushell - Academy Player Liaison Officer
Eamon Mulvey - Senior Academy Coach & Player Development Mentor
Ian Smithson - Head of Education
Jarrad Ince - Pre-Academy Manager
Jen Mildenhall - Emerging Talent Programme Manager
Luke Fedorenko - Head of Academy Recruitment
Mark Dempsey - Senior Academy Coach
Matt Walker - Head of Academy Performance
Neil Gittins - Head of Player Development (U9-U12)
Steve Higham - Head of Academy Football Operations
Tony Whelan - Academy Program Advisor
Travis Binnion - Head of Player Development & Coaching

Travis Binnion - Head of Player Development and Coaching

Travis Binnion oversees the development of every Academy player aged 17-21, included those who go out on loan to other clubs. He was made lead coach of our Under-18s in 2021, two years after he began his role as United Academy’s Head of Player Development. Travis became the lead coach of the Under-21s for the beginning of the 2023/24 season, and coaches and manages our youngsters on the final step of their development journey.


Prior to his work with the Reds, Binnion was connected to Sheffield United for 20 years, representing the Blades as a player and going on to be the manager of their Academy team from 2016 to 2019.

Adam Lawrence - Head of Player Development (U13-U16)

Adam Lawrence took charge of United's Under-18s for the 2023/24 season, having previously been lead coach of the Under-16s for two years. Alongside this, he continues his role as Head of Player Development for our Under-13s to Under-16s, to ensure a smooth transition for players as they begin their scholarships.


Prior to his role at United, Lawrence had previously worked within Millwall's youth system as well as spending eight years nurturing youngsters at Charlton Athletic, first as a lead coach of the Under-13s to Under-16s age range and then as their Head of Coaching (Under-9s to Under-23s).

Mark Dempsey - Senior Academy Coach

Mark Dempsey mentors staff and supports players across the age groups to ensure individuals reach their potential. He also works closely with players out on loan and take an active role in player recruitment.


A youth product of United himself, Mark spent 10 years as a coach in his first tenure in our Academy. Previously an assistant to former United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at both Molde and United, Dempsey returned to the Academy in 2019 and became lead coach of our Under-21s in 2022. He moved into his current role at the end of the 2022/23 season.

Tom Huddlestone - player-coach

Former Premier League midfielder Tom Huddlestone is part of our Under-21s’ coaching staff, and also plays for the young Reds too. Tom plied his trade at the highest level for two decades before arriving at United, playing for Tottenham Hotspur, Wolves Hull City and Derby County between 2002 and 2022.


Huddlestone now coaches our Under-21s, and is often part of Mark Dempsey's matchday squads, imparting experience on the youngsters who are coming through the ranks.

Colin Little - Academy coach

Colin is one of our Academy coaches and has been part of our youth set-up since 2009, where he began working with the Under-13s. Colin had a long career prior to moving into coaching, making more than 200 appearances for Crewe Alexandra and Altrincham each.


Little works one a one-to-one basis with the attacking players in the Academy, having a profound impact on the likes of United's Marcus Rashford, who has played more than 300 times for the Reds to date.

Tommy Lee - Lead ACADEMY goalkeeping coach

Our Academy’s lead goalkeeping coach, Tommy Lee, began his career with United as a youth player and moved to Macclesfield Town in 2006. He transferred to Chesterfield in 2008 and  went on to make more than 300 appearances in nine years for them.


In October 2022, Tommy was hired for his current role after spending two years as an academy goalkeeping coach at Sheffield Wednesday and a further two at Sheffield United

Dave Hughes - Academy coach

Former Aston Villa player David Hughes is part of our Professional Development Phase coaching team, having also plied his trade for Shrewsbury and Cardiff as well as representing Wales at international level.


He arrived at United in July 2022, having previously held roles as Head of Academy Coaching at both Cardiff and Southampton. Prior to his stint at Southampton, Dave coached Wales's Under-17s for four years.

Kevin Wolfe - ACADEMY Goalkeeping coach

Kevin Wolfe spent 10 years as Sunderland's academy goalkeeping coach before he arrived at United. Wolfe primarily works with our Under-18s, helping to develop their shot-stopping, distribution and much more.


Wolfe uses his wealth of experience to impart knowledge on our youngsters, helping to set them up for a career between the sticks at the highest level.

Our Outstanding Staff

Supporting the Under-21s and Under-18s is just one of the areas in which our team of staff thrive. Throughout each week, our coaches flexibly teach, nurture and present to our youngsters to ensure they have the best possible environment to fulfil their potential.


In addition to traditional coaching, this may include working one a one-to-one basis, looking back at video analysis, giving valuable feedback and also guiding our players to apply the correct processes every single day. Our Academy staff are truly outstanding. 

Permanent Academy Staff

Adam McWilliam - Pre-Academy Coach

Adam Green - Safeguarding Partner

Aidan Adamson - Youth Phase Academy Analyst

Alex Ouzounoglou - YDP Athletic Development Lead

Alex Telford - PDP Academy Analyst

Andy Jordan - Academy Operations Manager

Andy Laylor - Academy Player Support Coordinator

Andy Pilling - YDP Organisation & Events Lead

Andy Pilling - YDP Organisation & Events Lead

Austin Scott - Academy Sports Scientist

Cameron Royle - Education Officer

Chris Backhouse - Academy Goalkeeping Coach

Chris Simms - Academy Coach

Chris Snape - Academy Transport Manager

Clare Nicholas - Academy Secretary

Curtis Quinn - Academy Analyst

Danny Keough - Loan Support Officer

Emily Ball - Pre-Academy & Emerging Talent Ops Lead

Emily Ball - Pre-Academy & Emerging Talent Ops Lead

Ethan Heseltine - Assistant Academy Analyst

Fi Barnes - Academy Psychologist

Graham Buckingham - Academy Assistant

Hannah Burgess - Academy Transport Coordinator

Imran Hamid - Academy Coach

James Wilcock - Academy Coach

James McGerity - Emerging Talent Programme Coach

Jane Cooper - Academy Safeguarding & Welfare Advisor

Jane Cooper - Academy Safeguarding & Welfare Advisor

Lee Dunn - Emerging Talent Centre Manager

Lee Unsworth - Academy Coach

Les Parry - Loans Manager

Louise Doherty - PA/Project Coord. to Director of Academy

Luke Dickson - Lead Academy Analyst

Luke Lawrence - Academy PDP Athletic Development Coach

Luke O'Reilly - Academy Goalkeeping Coach

Marie Beckley - Foundation Phase Ops Lead

Martin Drury - Academy Coach

Matthew Walker - Academy Coach

Mick Matthews - Academy Coach Development Manager

Mike Goulden - Academy PDP Athletic Development Coach

Nathan McConville - Academy Coach U09s-10s

Neil Harris - Academy Coach

Neil Scott - Academy Coach

Paul McShane - Academy Coach

Rachel Cross - Pro Dev U23 Operations Lead

Rick Ashcroft - Academy Coach

Robert Svenson - YDP Athletic Development Coach

Ryan Shorrock - Academy Performance Analyst

Sam Voss - Academy Transport Coordinator

Sophie Hunt - Emerging Talent Programme Coach

Stephen Reddy - Academy Coach U11-12s

Steve Brown - Academy Analyst (Loan Players)

Steven Crane - Academy Coach

Stuart Leicester - MANUSS Lead Coach

Tony Coyne - Academy Coach

Vanessa Walker - Education Officer

Zeki Istanbul - Academy Coach

Zoe Flanagan - Emerging Talent Programme Coach

As well as our permanent staff, there are a number of people who work for the club on a part-time and casual basis who are crucial to the way we operate and the success that we continue to have in developing young players. Together, our staff ensure that the children who join the Academy have the optimal environment in which to thrive as footballers and as people.