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Gloucester City AFC is delighted to announce the appointment of Jim Hart as the club’s first Youth Academy Director.  
 
Jim, 51, has been a familiar face around local football for the past decade, having previously been Development Centre Manager and BTEC Education Manager for Cheltenham Town FC. He was also an integral part of the creation of Gloucester City AFC’s own community football programme in 2011, which has since gone from strength to strength and is now known as the Gloucester City AFC Foundation. 
Most recently Jim worked for the Fulham FC and Chelsea FC Foundations, delivering their football education programmes as part of the rehabilitation of young offenders in Brixton and Feltham Prisons respectively.  In 2013 he walked over 50 miles dressed as club mascot Rory the Tiger around City’s various exile football grounds to raise money for the club.  
 
Jim will oversee the Academy’s eight age groups and coaches, the Gloucester City AFC Foundation which he helped to establish in 2011, and the Elite Development Centre which provides BTEC qualifications and full-time education for 16-18 year olds.  Jim was excited about the potential to develop local talent:  
 
“First and foremost I’m proud and honoured to be given the opportunity to re-join the club. The new Academy will provide more chances for more young local players to represent the club at the highest level. We will aim to support the ambitions of the City, the club and the manager by creating a pool of local talent good enough to compete in the Football League.” he said. 
 
As well as trying to become more visible within the City, broadening our scouting network and building stronger relationships with local clubs, we’ll also be creating a new syllabus which will support children’s athletic and emotional development. We’ll offer an environment in which players are given the best possible experience for their development, and work hard to ensure we have the best coaches to perform the tasks required. I can’t wait to get started and I’m looking forward to meeting everyone at the club”.  
Gloucester City AFC Co-Chairman Alex Petheram said “I’m delighted to announce the addition of Jim to Gloucester City. Anyone who’s walked 50 miles in the Rory the Tiger suit definitely knows what this club is about and how to take it forward. Jim has a first class CV and more importantly is a first class chap.  
 
We had 38 people apply for the role, so I’d like to thank Webby (Gloucester City legend Tom Webb) for assisting me with the appointment. His knowledge of football and the club was, and always will be, invaluable.”  
 
“Tom and I got the applicants down to a final two and, as we couldn’t split them, we asked Adie Mings (another Gloucester City legend and Chelsea FC scout) for a casting vote, so this really has been an appointment taken very seriously within the club. This network of friends also gives us a new blueprint for appointments elsewhere within the club now that we’re back home at New Meadow Park.”  
 
Last month Gloucester City AFC announced that the Youth Development section was changing to an Academy, and would be moving under the umbrella of the main club as part of a restructure, with the Ladies section to hopefully follow soon. 
 
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