There has been a shift in the Academy Technical Staff structure ahead of the 2018/19 season, as Danny Butterfield and Craig Fleming take on fresh roles.
Fleming arrived at Saints in March 2015 from Lowestoft Town, where he was Director of Football and first-team Manager. The former defender enjoyed a 17-year playing career, predominantly with Norwich City, and also has previous experience working with Manchester United’s Academy.
Having overseen an extremely successful year as Lead Under-18s coach during 2017/18, Fleming has stepped up to join Radhi Jaïdi in the Under-23s set-up, and will take on the title of Assistant Under-23s coach.
Former Saints player Butterfield, who returned to the south coast in a coaching capacity in September 2016, assisted Fleming with the Under-18s group last term, and has now taken on the responsibility of Lead Under-18s coach. Butterfield will also oversee the Under-17s fixture programme.
Significantly, the Under-17s will continue to compete midweek, to facilitate the game-time of younger players in the group, and also allow the Under-16s to compete for a playing position. Fixtures against top European and domestic academies are already planned.
Elsewhere in the Saints Academy, Paul Hardyman has joined the club from Watford, where he has been appointed to the position of Lead Under-16s coach.
Paul has also been tasked with assisting the Under-18s' training programme, alongside Butterfield, during the pre-season period.
On his new role, Craig Fleming said: “I’m definitely excited by the change. It’ll be working with players that I’ve worked with for the past two or three years, so there’s familiarity there.
“It’s a strong group, so I’m looking forward to the season starting. They’re up to speed, we’ve been working hard in pre-season, so ready to get stuck into the league programme now.”
Discussing his new role, Danny Butterfield said: "The aim is to continue to build on the positive momentum from last season.
"Our focus is still very much on the younger players’ development, and preparing them to make the step up to Under-23s football.
"We've had a good pre-season so far, and I'm looking forward to seeing what this group can achieve."