Atlanta United announced on Friday that it has signed Academy Director Tony Annan to a multi-year contract extension. Annan has been with the club since 2016 and appears to be in their plans for the long-term.
“Youth development is a key component for Atlanta United and critical in the club’s growth as part of the international soccer landscape. We’re excited that Tony will continue to build upon the infrastructure we have in place,” Atlanta United President Darren Eales said. “Around the world, it has taken years to properly build Academy systems, and Tony has done a remarkable job in a short period of time in both the development of young players, as well as the on-field success against already-established academies throughout the USA and Canada. With Tony’s leadership, we look forward to developing the next great stars of Atlanta United here in our backyard.”
Despite Atlanta’s freshness on the scene, the club has already won a couple of youth trophies under Annan’s watch. Most notably, the 2016-17 U-16 Development Academy Championship and most recently the U-14’s captured the Manchester City Cup a few weeks ago.
In the three-year span since his arrival at the club, Atlanta has signed eight youth players to professional contracts along with 31 players receiving Division I scholarships to play soccer.
“More than anything else, Tony has done a tremendous job of implementing our club’s style of play and core values across all of our Academy teams featuring more than 130 youth players,” Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said. “In addition, despite only existing for three years, we’ve been able to monitor our overall progress, which has led to the cultivation of a holistic player development approach. Tony has played a major role in implementing that philosophy.”
There are constantly moving parts at any soccer club. Atlanta’s commitment to youth seems to be in good hands for the foreseeable future after this piece of news.