Reds announce Mark Jones as Head of Youth Development

Adelaide United is delighted to announce the appointment of Mark Jones as the Club’s new Head of Youth Development.

Jones’ will step into the role which has been left vacant by Michael Valkanis, who is who is eager to solely focus on his position as the Reds’ First Team Assistant Coach to Head Coach, Guillermo Amor. 

Jones will begin his role immediately and will fundamentally focus on the Club’s National Premier League (NPL) team for the 2016 season. His appointment is on the back of the successful NPL trials commencing last Sunday, where over 100 young footballers trialled, some of which came as far as Whyalla and the Northern Territory.

Having most recently been the Head of High Performance with fellow Hyundai A-League club, Newcastle Jets, Jones has also been the Assistant Coach with Newcastle on two separate occasions, including part of their 2007/08 Championship winning squad. 

In 2013, Jones was the Technical Director of the Central Coast Mariners Academy and the Head Coach of their New South Wales Premier League team, whilst he has also been an Assistant Coach with Perth Glory, Malaysian Premier League’s Sabah FC, and Chinese Super League’s Chongqing Lifan. 

Jones currently holds an FFA ‘A Licence’, is completing his FFA PRO Licence, is a certified Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Elite Conditioning Instructor, and is one of only twelve FIFA Fitness Instructors, which has allowed him to be an Instructor at a number of FIFA Football Fitness courses in Bahrain, North Korea, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates. 

Speaking on his appointment, Jones said: “I’m excited for this challenge and I’m looking forward to being involved with Adelaide United’s Youth Team.

“I always want to be involved with the best and that’s the best at any level. These are the best young players in South Australia and arguably some of the best in the country.

“When I was involved with Central Coast Mariners’ NPL One team, it was a big jump from the NPL Two league. Our challenge moving into SA’s National Premier League will be similar and we have to try and be as competitive as we can because we’ll be up against men. 

“I’m here to improve our players both technically and tactically, and I’m looking to increase their qualities by executing a number of plans that are already in place. 

“Everyone knows what to do, but I’ll help educate our footballers how best to do it and give our players a skill set to play at the highest level. 

“We’re going to continue to focus on a possession-based style, mirroring the football played by our first team and enable our youth players to play whatever system they play.”

Adelaide United Chief Executive Officer, Grant Mayer, welcomes Jones’ appointment, saying: “To have a football coach with Mark’s credentials join us is a massive bonus for the Club and allows us to start building a clear pathway for talented youth in this state. 

“Michael Valkanis and his coaching staff have done a wonderful job over the years and I can think of no better way to finish the National Youth League season than by bringing home the Championship on Saturday.

“I am sure Mark will be watching the game very closely as he continues to prepare and finalise his squad for the upcoming NPL season.” 

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