Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today that Stuart Neely has been named head of player management and advancement for the club’s Residency program. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Stuart Neely – Whitecaps FC head of player management and advancement
– Four years as Toronto FC Academy director (2008 – 2011)
– Helped guide six academy players to Toronto FC’s MLS roster
– Canadian ‘A’ Licence coach
– Business and football advisor for English League Two side Bradford City FC (2008)
“We’re very pleased to have someone of Stuart’s experience and pedigree join Whitecaps FC,” said Whitecaps FC president Bob Lenarduzzi. “Having managed elite player development for many years, Stuart brings an abundance of Canadian soccer knowledge – from the community level, through the club system, and right up to the national level with the Canadian Soccer Association. He will be a key asset in strengthening our development program.”
As head of player management and advancement, Neely will be the conduit between the Whitecaps FC Residency program and the club’s Major League Soccer squad. A native of East Kilbride, Scotland, who has been a Canadian resident for over three decades, Neely will be responsible for charting the path and plans of players from entry to exit in the Residency program, while maximizing technical, educational, and social development.
“I’m very excited to be joining a club as dedicated to player development as Whitecaps FC,” said Neely. “The Residency program is beginning to show its rewards and we’re eager for it to continue to grow.”
Prior to his arrival in Vancouver, Neely helped lead the academy of Canadian MLS rivals Toronto FC since the program’s inception in 2008. In 2011, Neely guided TFC Academy as the program’s director after previously serving as academy manager and junior team head coach. Under his direction, six academy players joined Toronto FC’s MLS roster.
In 2008, Neely acted as business and football advisor to English League Two side Bradford City FC, while from 2006 to 2007, he worked as football officer for Royal Racing Football Club Montegnée in Belgium.
A Canadian ‘A’ Licence coach, Neely also served as high performance program manager for the Manitoba Soccer Association (2003 to 2005), technical programs manager for the Canadian Soccer Association (1998 to 2003), and director of player development for the Ontario Soccer Association (1995 to 1998). Additionally, Neely has operated his own company, Neely Consulting Group, since 2005.