Farsley Celtic Academy sign Liam Willingham as Director of Operations

  • Willingham wants players to ensure they respect each other and management
  • Players must give 100% commitment both on and off the pitch
  • The aim is to allow players to be able to progress seamlessly through age-groups and focus solely on their performances.

Liam Willingham’s main priority for Farsley Celtic Academy’s players is “to make sure all they have to worry about is their performance” as he begins his role as Director of Operations.

The newly created role, for Liam, will see him oversee the structure of the academy both on and off the pitch, so to as he describes: “make sure the players have the right experience of a football academy”.

Willingham plans to use the experience of running his own business, Recruit a Driver Ltd, to “set the right structure and process within the football club and building the right coaching team and support staff to ensure this happens”.

“The players in most instances are making the step up to academy football and for me it’s about making that the right experience for them. Making sure all they have to worry about is their performance on the field. Not about who they are playing with, if they know them or not, or reputations, what way a certain age group plays, what they’re about as individuals etc. It’s about the process and structure being uniformed so their only focus is themselves and what they can bring to add value to the squad.

“[The coaches] should be making sure the academy is running to the same processes: preparations, pre-match build-up, game identity, expectations on and off the pitch, when with the team training / on the pitch or in the classroom.”

Willingham’s initial priorities were visible as he attended the u19s’ 6-0 victory on Wednesday as he looks to identify and solve weaknesses.

“I’m looking forward to attending more academy games”.


Willingham is aiming for players to progress smoothly through the age groups by abiding by a familiar set of rules.

Focus is also on achieving greater high-end results in the classroom for our scholarship students.

“These uniformed processes will allow players to go through different levels and age groups no matter what team they are asked to play for – it is uniformed. They would have met some of, if not all the players at some point allowing them to be more relaxed and settle straight into their own game, to focus on what they are there for.

“A structure will also allow for the scholars to bring in more top-end results in education.”

Recruiting the owner of ‘Recruit a Driver’

The new Director of Operations currently manages ‘Recruit a Driver’ and has previously run a number of businesses in finance and recruitment.

“Again the team I have around me [at Recruit a Driver], their ethics, their enthusiasm is what makes that work. I just give them the tools and the training and they do the rest. They are loyal and can be trusted.

“My skill set and a skill set I stand by that I believe could work at a higher level if needed is the experience and knowledge to bring good people, top coaches and analysts, together and form winning team units.

Academy Director Lutel James explained his decision to sign Willingham as: “Liam is a talented man who we are absolutely delighted to have on the team.

“Liam’s attention to detail is second to none and we believe the Academy will grow from strength to strength with his involvement.”