Matlock Town development manager Justin Tellus has been appointed as director of football of a new Leeds United elite player development scholarship in Derbyshire.
Tellus joined the Matlock youth development set-up four years ago and has overseen the development of young talent such as Derby County Under-23’s centre-back Max Hunt.
The sale of the first Gladiators’ academy product to the professional game in the club’s 141-year history in Hunt has since been added to with the successes of Zak Brunt and the impending move of Ashton Hall to a professional club.
“We’ve had four amazing years of success in the development sector at Matlock but for me the time is right, looking ahead into the next few seasons,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to getting started on such an exciting programme to help develop young people, whilst still continuing in my development manager role with Matlock.”
Leeds’ new project will offer 16-18 year olds the chance to play elite competitive football for the age range, while earning qualifications in sport through Leeds United Sports College.
Students in the programme, which will be run by DFK limited in association with the Sports College, will attain a Level 3 BTEC over the two-year period.
Tellus explained: “This is a fantastic opportunity for promising youngsters across the region to progress in their football career while obtaining high-level education and pathways through Leeds United Sports College.
“As director of football of the Derbyshire hub I will overlook the running of the new elite player development scholarship in North Derbyshire, and there are three channels of recruitment for talented young people to get involved.
“Firstly, we’ll be looking at players in grassroots with potential and secondly there are a lot of players being released at Under-16 level that we can give a second chance to.
“Thirdly, there will be chances for lads and girls to apply for trials to get involved, but not just players, young people who want to be involved in careers around sport too.”
Former Sheffield United striker and Leeds legend Brian Deane has also been announced as part of the programme, alongside ex-professionals Noel Whelan and Andy Kiwomya.
Deane, who has previously been a guest at the Gladiators’ end of season development awards evening, was delighted to welcome Tellus as part of the elite player development scholarship.
“Justin is an ex-professional with experience playing abroad and he brings a unique skillset to the team.
“What he has achieved in the past few years is inspirational, bringing players like Max Hunt, Zak Brunt, and Ashton Hall, through a football and education programme into professional football.
“We are looking forward to working together to provide quality with Leeds United to the region, while giving pathways and opportunities through this exciting new programme.”
The first open training session is due to take place Wednesday, 24th April with trials centred on talent identification and player pathways, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.