Thursday, March 14, 2013

Union Hire Tommy Wilson as Academy Director

Chester, Pa. – The Philadelphia Union have hired Rangers FC Academy Technical Director and Reserve Team Coach and former Head of Coaching and Education for the Scottish Football Association (SFA), Tommy Wilson, as Philadelphia Union Academy Director.

Wilson’s duties will include overseeing, directing and developing the Philadelphia Union Youth Development Program in elements of curriculum, programing and coaching. Additionally, he will work with the Philadelphia Union first team and reserve team to ensure authentic continuity exists from youth levels through first team in style of play, culture and teaching. While developing existing relationships with local youth soccer clubs, Wilson will also focus on efforts to uphold and cultivate YSC and Philadelphia Union Youth Academy’s continued positive presence in the community by communicating with media, public relations, community relations and website departments to generate positive publicity regarding youth programs.

“From our beginnings four years ago, we have been building and assembling a foundation to create one of the best youth development academies in the world.  Having Tommy join our team to continue our work and commitment to developing exceptional young talent is very exciting for us,” Philadelphia Union CEO and Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz said. “We believe deeply in the talent that exists in our area and youth development is our future. Therefore, it is crucial to have people with Tommy's experience and skill to lead our development model".

Prior to being Academy Technical Director and Reserve Team Coach for Rangers FC in Scotland, and during his time at the SFA, Wilson was also head coach for the U19 and U20 Scottish National Teams where he helped Scotland’s sides achieve unprecedented success. Wilson led the Scotland U-19 National Team to the Finals of the 2006 U-19 European Football Championship in Poland, which earned the team a spot in the 2007 U-20 FIFA World Cup in Canada.

Wilson also had an extensive professional playing career, as he spent time on various Scottish professional teams since starting his career in 1978, including stints with Queen’s Park FC, Dunfermline FC, Heart of Midlothian FC and Kilmarnock FC. Most notably, Wilson made 287 appearances for St. Mirren and was a member of the Scottish Cup-winning team in 1987. He also represented his country on the national level, appearing in UEFA competitions as a member of the Scotland U-21 National Team.

"I am very pleased and indeed honored to be offered this opportunity. I have had seven great years at Rangers FC, but the offer to join Philadelphia Union to develop a world-class youth development program was an opportunity that was too good to turn down. I am excited at the prospect of joining MLS, which is a very promising and progressive league, and look forward to working under John Hackworth and Nick Sakiewicz, who along with partner Richie Graham of YSC, are truly committed to youth development and the task of building world-class players in the United States."

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