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Paul Hart leaves

A real shame to see Paul Hart leave his role as Academy Director. For all the muck thrown at Slater and Jimenez, the latters connections was the main reason Hart joined the Addicks in June 2011. The previous owners then held off an offer for Hart from Nottingham Forest, but rumours have abounded since early this year that Hart would leave at the end of his contract and possibly take up a similiar role with the Premier League Champions.

So, the announcement on the OS is a little bit strange, suggesting that both Hart and Steve Avory were invited to apply for a new post of Academy Manager, the merging of the previous Academy Director and Head of Coaching roles held by Hart and Avory respectively. Reading in between the lines, it looks as if Hart didn’t take up the offer. Spin or not, I don’t know.

Paul Hart’s record at youth level is unmatched and the success of the Under 21’s and Under 18’s has been monumental for a club of Charlton’s size especially considering the financial restictions it had been operating under for pretty much all of Hart’s time at the club. The young players that have broken through into the first team this season and last will be Paul Hart’s legacy

This is not to say that I am disappointed about Steve Avory’s promotion. Steve has a legacy that goes back to 2001 helping produce a large number of Academy graduates and his coaching skills are well recognised in the game and I am very pleased for him and the Academy is in very good hands.

The remaining position to be filled of Academy Operations Manager sounds like an adminstrative role and I wonder if someone from Duchatelet’s network will fill this. With the importance of youth development to Duchatelet and his ambition to get Category 1 status I would be very suprised if he did not put a known quantity to him in there.

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