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Academy

Bell on his appointment as Academy Head of Coaching

11 August 2020

Tim Bell is looking forward to carrying the principles and philosophy of his work in the first team environment into the Cheltenham Town Academy in his new role as Head of Academy Coaching.

It was recently announced that he would be moving across from first team duties where he has served for the last five seasons as performance analyst, to undertake the Head of Academy Coaching position.

His new role will see him working with the coaches in the academy set-up to help develop their performance levels, to then be reflected in the young players who currently make up the youth structure at the club.

"I’m probably going into my eleventh or twelfth season at the club in a different capacity," Bell said.

"It's different to what I've done before in terms of the analysis and overseeing that department. But what I take from the analysis world is the level of detail and planning needed to be apart of a well oiled machine. I'll take everything I've learnt under the Gaffer & Russ (Milton) in terms of the principles, philosophy and high standards and continue to align the academy towards those while ensuring the academy holds close the values that it's always had.

"The pinnacle is developing professional footballers and all-rounded people. The Academy Head of Coaching role is to provide a framework around how we want to play, coach & develop and continually raise our standards and working practices so the academy continue to have players who turn professional and represent us in League Two and hopefully higher."

Though he's now moving away from the first team structure, Bell is keen to ensure that both the academy and first team are strongly linked, with working on the same site at the training ground a huge benefit for that.

"Over the past couple of seasons the first team have really instilled a culture and that has dripped feed into the academy and I'll look to strengthen that connection,"he added.

"It's been great working daily with the the Gaffer, Russ, Micky Moore, Booky (Steve Book), Gav Crowe, James Murphy, James Redman and Josh Harris, by having that insight and knowing how they want to work I think that is a great advantage for the academy and something to really tap into as much as we can."

Bell has enjoyed a long association with Cheltenham Town and his return to the coaching development side follows where his focus in the game originally began.

"I started coaching at 17 at Hartpury College and University and led a few of their BUCS teams. I did my degrees there and completed my AYA and A licence. During my first year at Hartpury I joined The Academy under-9s, spent time as the lead phase for the foundation, a development phase coach and was under-18s assistant to Russ for two-and-a-half years. I left to join the Right Dream Academy in Ghana and rejoined the first team in 2015 for the bounce back to the Football League."

Now back on a coaching pathway, he's looking forward to getting going and working with a highly thought of youth system that's produced a number of talented players for both the first team and to be sold on in recent years to clubs at a higher level.

In the past 12 months alone one youngster has joined a Premier League club, while Aaron Evans-Harriott was also sold to Coventry City during last season.

"As a club developing young players is a priority. I think it's a great time to be a young player at Cheltenham. If you've got the right mindset and work ethic you've got a great chance of progressing," he continued.

"It's twofold with any academy at this level. If you're producing good young players other clubs are going to take notice and show an interest, in the same breath we know as a club their potential and we've got some outstanding players who with the right guidance, mindset and coaching are going to contribute sooner rather than later to the first team - that's our job, for Antoine (Thompson), myself and the staff - to make sure the coaching and set-up propels them forward to have success.

"For me straight away there is a bit of toing-and-froing between my two roles but I've been in from day one for both set-ups this pre-season. For the academy it's continuing with what Antoine and the staff have been successfully building and helping to evolve the way in which the coaches work and provide that support network to continue to upskill and challenge them."


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