Interview With David Cope -Scholarship Program Manager

Evan Seaman speaks to David Cope about his new role as Ilkley Town’s scholarship manager, his other job as Leeds United Academy Manager in West Yorkshire and developing youngsters into footballers.

Congratulations on your new job as scholarship manager at Ilkley Town AFC. How pleased are you to have been given this opportunity?

I’m excited by the challenge and can’t wait to get going by aligning the scholarship program with the club’s playing philosophy, strategy, vision and adding my own experience and know how to what is an incredibly strong team. Ilkley Town AFC have made incredible progress in recent seasons, continually making forward strides to move the club in a positive direction.  

What kind of tasks will you undertake in your new role?

I will be responsible for a wide range of organizational duties and serve as the glue that ties the players to the organization itself. Provide high-quality coaching with exposure to the professional and semi-professional game with as much match time as possible with regularly playing competitive league games in addition showcase matches against elite professional and academy clubs. “Best playing the Best”. 

You are also the Leeds United Academy Manager in West Yorkshire. How will you be looking to combine the two roles?

As Academy Development Centre Coach and Scout at Leeds United FC Academy and Scholarship Program Manager with Ilkley Town AFC pathway I see it as a WIN-WIN for both parties due to partnership between the two clubs that is already in place which allows any player in the Aire Wharfe area showing the level of potential will be invited for a trial assessment in Leeds United Academy pathway. 

Has working with youngsters in football academies always been something you’ve wanted to do?

I have coached at all levels throughout my career and gained a great insight into the game at the elite level with Leeds United Academy. Recognizing talent with different ages, levels of ability and nurturing their talent in our Academy and Development Centre pathway is the highlight of my successful career to date and gives me great pride.

Are you confident that you can develop the talented individuals into first-team players for Ilkley one day?

Ilkley Town AFC have made incredible progress and its recognition for everyone connected with the club, past and present staff. Ilkley Town AFC offer a unique opportunity from grassroots – development – academy – scholarship – U21 – U23 – reserves and first team pathway for home- grown players and it is my ambition to create opportunities for exiting young talent and for scholarship graduates to play first team football at Ilkley Town AFC so the success story can continue.