Meet the Coaches

‘Coaching is taking a player where they can’t take themselves.’

Tom Craddock

Read more about Tom Craddock here.

Graeme Clark

As a UEFA A Licence holder and FA coach educator Graeme brings a wealth of experience to the academy. He completed his A Licence in 1995 and has extensive experience at senior level having held posts at clubs such as Stoke City, Oldham Athletic, Spennymoor and Blyth Spartans amongst many others. Most importantly for the academy, he has vast experience in developmental coaching. During several years at Hartlepool United he coached U9’s up to U18’s and whilst at Middlesbrough F.C. he coached 11 to 14 year olds. At both clubs Graeme was a key figure in the development of some of their brightest young scholars and professionals. Alongside his current role as head coach for the women’s team at Stockton Riverside College, Graeme has worked at the Football Association since 1995 as a coach educator delivering level 1, level 2 and UEFA B coaching qualifications to numerous coaches throughout the country, many of whom have gone on to enjoy significant roles within the game. This longevity in coaching such a wide range of age and ability shows that Graeme is humble, intelligent, adaptable and most importantly empathetic towards those he is coaching. 

‘We are so proud to have someone of Graeme’s calibre as part of our coaching team. Having viewed his work at Middlesbrough FC and The FA we have seen first-hand the effort that goes into every session he delivers. The knowledge, understanding and detail that he gives to player development is truly first class, however, in our opinion his most impressive attribute is the humility and values which he imparts onto every player he comes into contact with.’

Richy Hill

Richy holds the UEFA A Licence, prestigious FA Advanced Youth Award and FA Futsal level 2 qualifications. He started coaching in 2004 as a coach for Hartlepool United which served as an excellent grounding for when he was appointed as lead coach for the Youth Development Phase at Middlesbrough academy by their renowned Academy Manager Dave Parnaby. Richy played a key role in the development of many young players at Middlesbrough FC including current first team players Dael Fry, Hayden Coulson and Marcus Tavernier. In an era where youth football in England was and continues to be dominated by Chelsea and Manchester City, whilst leading the U14 age group at Middlesbrough Richy led them to National Cup success in 2015 with an impressive victory over Chelsea. Richy has a keen eye for players who are technically able and loves to encourage players to play with a style that is enjoyable and progressive. 

‘Richy can light up a coaching session with his infectious personality and enthusiasm. Having someone with his knowledge and experience in developmental coaching is a massive coup for the academy. We guarantee that every player will leave his sessions brimming with confidence.’

Liam Coates

As the managing director of Sporting Futures, Liam has a passion for coaching having honed his skills over the past 15 years whilst working alongside some of the top coaches in the world of sports.

Liam displays a strong commitment to learning and strives to create a positive and stimulating learning environment ensuring that children are aware and understand the learning outcomes they are trying to achieve.

His ambitious vision for Sporting Futures within schools and the local community as well as his high expectations for all of the young people he works with make him an ideal candidiate to coach at Tom Craddock Football Academy.

Phill Park

Since graduating from university with a BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Development degree from the University of Sunderland, Phill is a has been part of the Sporting Futures team gaining years of experience in many different educational settings, including working in specialist provision, with a particular interest in SEMH.

Phill holds coaching qualifications in a multitude of sports and has a firm passion for coaching and delivering primary physical education to children in a fun and positive environment. Phill is a keen footballer in his spare time and is a qualified fitness instructor showing his huge passion for sport as well as physical and mental wellbeing.