Bradford (Park Avenue) appoint new Academy Manager as part of ambitious re-structuring program for the academy

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The Avenue are delighted to announce that after an exhaustive search they have made the appointment of the new Academy Manager, Alex Cross.

The long and detailed interview process was driven by the ambitious plans for a new Academy structure that will revolutionise our club from 5 years old and upwards. Once these plans were formulated in helped to define the type of individual that we would be looking for to develop and bring these plans to fruition. Alex was interviewed by people from inside the club and also by experts from outside the club, to ensure that this would be an appointment for the long term, something that has failed to happen up until now.

Alex Cross – Academy Manager

“I am excited to get going at such a historic football club as it embarks on this very promising future. After speaking to Martin and hearing the plans to redevelop the club from top to bottom, it was an opportunity I wanted to take. A very thorough interview process gave me clarity and showed significant alignment with my personal plans and the plans at BPA.

After working in full time football and education for the past 4 years whilst working part time in professional & semi-professional clubs, I am really looking forward to putting all my time, experience and knowledge towards one entity. We have a very clear strategy and that is to offer a 5* experience across every element of the football club which has already started with the pitch and stadium developments that are currently ongoing.”

Alex, has experience at academy level with Cambridge United and Notts County. His last job was heading Grantham College’s Centre of Excellence, while being first team coach at Northern Premier League Division One South East side Stamford.

At 27 years old, Alex is currently on his way to earning a UEFA A Licence, is highly motivated, ambitious, talented and will bring energy plus modern thinking to the club, something we sorely need to drive us into a new and exciting future.

Alex will be tasked with the re-branding and re-structuring of our academic academy and integrating it into our healthy and vibrant junior section, that this year becomes once again part of the whole club. This is only possible due to the outstanding work done by the junior section volunteers, lead ably by Ian Softley. Ian will remain an integral part of the new Academy, taking the role of President and also remaining involved with one of the teams, many thanks to Ian and all of the volunteers and coaches.

The new branding will see all of the teams from under 5’s through to the under 18’s coming under the Bradford (Park Avenue) Academy banner, all wearing the exact same kit as the first team, sharing the same kit sponsors, and all using the fabulous new state of the art 3G pitch currently being laid at the Horsfall.

Alex will be delivering a progressive and detailed training program that will be underpinned by the clubs football philosophy, this will based on the technical development of the players and run broadly around the Coerver coaching methodology. This program will be delivered across each and every age group and be taught by paid, qualified coaches. Regardless of ability, each and everyone of our players will have the opportunity to play and train at incredible facilities and be trained to the same high standard, by the same coaches.

Each age group will consist of two teams, one community team and one academy team, which will enable the club to challenge everyone of the players to be the best that they can be, in an environment that suits their individual learning and development needs.

The idea is that when the players get to 16 that they are all conversant and technically competent in the clubs footballing DNA and should they choose, they can progress with us and join our academic program and ultimately progress to first team.

The academic program will also be under going a revamp, it is our aim  to identify an education partner that is focussed on education (not bums on seats) and that will offer a wider choice of curriculum, including vocational courses in the sports arena, such as nutrition, data analytics, physiotherapy and more. We are acutely aware of the mathematical chances of players making it all the way to the ranks of professional sportsmen and women, and we fundamentally believe that it is our responsibility to ensure that we cater for the majority that won’t. Our focus, and promise, is to have 100% of our students go on to full time education or into full time employment when they finish their time with us.

Martin Knight –

the future of Bradford (Park Avenue) was and is the most challenging question posed to us as a management team. How we attract and engage with the next generation of fans, and how do we compete with the higher profile clubs in our vicinity to develop and keep one of our own and have them take the step to the first team, just like Jamie Lyons has done this year. After looking long and hard at our academy offering and with the exciting prospect of our juniors once again becoming part of the club, we formulated a long term plan that we believe will help us to create the next generation of the Green and White army, and help us attract and retain the most talented local footballing talent. We spent a long time looking for and interviewing for the right person to lead this ambitious initiative and without question Alex was the stand out candidate. I look forward to working with him closely and watching how he develops both as a coach and leader.’


We will be looking for all ages 5-16 for our new academy, if you are interested in finding out more please contact us at