Hull City Academy is delighted to announce that former EFL striker Billy Clarke has joined the coaching staff as the new Assistant Manager for the Under-18s.
The 33-year-old joins after calling time on a 16-year playing career, making over 450 appearances in all competitions and representing clubs such as Ipswich Town, Charlton Athletic and Bradford City.
The former Republic of Ireland youth international has two career promotions to his name - Blackpool in the Championship (2010) and Crawley Town in League Two (2012) - and joins the Tigers’ Academy in his first full-time coaching position.
“I’m over the moon to come to a club of Hull City’s stature and it’s a real big step for me personally,” said Clarke. “It’s my first full-time coaching role and I’m really excited to be here.”
“I’m ready to get into this role straight away as it’s a fantastic opportunity for me and one that I’m very grateful to have. I’ve spoken to Academy Manager Richard Naylor regularly and I’m keen to help the team anyway I can.
“I hope my playing experience will help, but I understand it’s a completely different skill set. I like to think I can lean on the experiences that I have had and pass it onto the players by guiding them the best I can.”
Clarke will work alongside Under-18s Manager John Anderson, with the team currently having a perfect home record in the U18 Professional Development League this season, and the 33-year-old is eager to learn off all the Academy coaching staff.
“To gain knowledge from John with the experience he has in coaching, it would be naive of me not to pepper him with questions and to pick his brains as much as I can,” added Clarke.
“I want to learn from the likes of John, Richard (Naylor), Neil (Sullivan) and ‘Daws’ (Andy Dawson) and make myself a better coach as I go along.
“My targets for the team are just to help them as best I can both on and off the pitch. The goal is to develop players and get them ready to make the next step up to the Under-23s and further on.
“Plus, if they take life lessons and skills that we teach them through their scholarship, then as a Academy we’ve done well.”