Academy Team

David Kirkwood – Academy Director

David's career started back in 1983 with his debut at 16-years-of-age, playing for East Fife v Albion Rovers, and scoring the winning goal. His career took him to Rangers, Heart of Midlothian, Airdrieonians and Raith Rovers in which he played in the European Cup, Uefa Cup and European Cup Winners Cup. Along the way he won divisional championships, and represented Scotland at all age levels up to U21 level. 

His career finished with 407 appearances and 65 goals.

David's coaching career started early as he retired from football at the age of 31 due to a serious knee injury. Spells coaching at Raith Rovers, Motherwell FC and Rangers FC led to David being installed as Head Of Youth Development at Ross County in 2006 until 2012. In his time at Brora Rangers FC, David managed the club to two Highland League titles (1 defeat in 68 games) and two North of Scotland Cup wins before being enticed back to Ross County Youth Academy by then Academy Director, Steven Ferguson. His current qualifications are:

  • UEFA YOUTH LICENCE
  • UEFA ‘A’ ADVANCED LICENCE
  • UEFA ‘PRO’ LICENCE

Six years on, he is as passionate as ever to make sure that Ross County maintains the hard work that produces talented, athletic young players that make the club proud of in years to come.

 

 

Richard Brittain - Head of Professional Programme

After a successful Ross County playing career spanning seven successful years with 270 appearances and 50 goals - where he captained the club to the First Division League title in 2012, also going an unprecedented 40 league games unbeaten - Richard recently returned to the club in a full time coaching capacity in the role of Head of Professional Academy.

Richard, who holds the UEFA B Licence but is about to complete the UEFA A Licence in May 2018, will be responsible until the summer for the club's under 17 squad where at the commencement of the new 2018/19 season they will become the new under 18 squad, thus meeting the criteria for Project Brave.

This newly formed under 18 squad will be made up of a number of full-time players and players who choose to continue their education and remain in school. This will be a challenging role but it is a role that Richard is thoroughly looking forward to undertaking. Along with his main role, Richard will also be working with the Reserve Team in his pursuit of developing players that are good enough to play in the First Team at Ross County.

Richard is absolutely delighted to be back working in a full time capacity at the club and continuing his long association with this great football club.

 

Richard Hastings - Head of Youth Academy Programme

Richard is a Canadian Internationalist who has amassed over 400 domestic club appearances mainly playing in Scotland with Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Ross County and Hamilton Academicals as well as spells in Austria and Holland. His 16 year career began at age 17 breaking into the Inverness Caledonian Thistle team where he enjoyed promotion’s from the 3rd Division to the 1st Division before joining Ross County for a season. He then went to Europe to play in Austria and Holland where he picked up Champions League qualifying and UEFA Cup experience before returning to Scotland to finish his career.

On the international front Richard played in the 1997 U20 Youth World Cup in Malaysia before breaking through to the full men’s team, gaining 59 Caps over a 12 year period. This included winning a major tournament, the Gold Cup as well as being involved in 2 World Cup Qualifying campaigns. Richard brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in which to pass on to our young players in this Head of Youth role.

Richard began coaching in 2012 after retiring from the game and spent 5 ½ years gaining experience in the coaching world with Inverness Caledonian Thistle before being appointed in this role at Ross County in June 2018

Richard continues to attain all necessary coaching licences and to date holds the following:

* UEFA ELITE YOUTH ‘A’ LICENSE

* UEFA ‘A’ LICENCE 

Richard is very passionate about giving something back to the game and is excited about the prospect of bringing home grown talent through the Academy into the 1st Team.

 

Jim Kelly - Head of Academy Operations

Jim's role sees him oversee the Welfare and Education of the young players as well as leading player recruitment for the academy. Jim has a 19 year association with the club where he has been Assistant Manager when the team progressed from the third to second division, Chief Scout as well as Head of Youth Development. Jim has also managed Brora Rangers in the Highland League on three separate occasions.

As a player Jim spent 8 years with Partick Thistle and is a current UEFA Elite Youth Licence holder.

 

Gregor Campbell - Head of Academy Football Science & Medicine

Gregor is responsible for developing the club’s youth players into the modern day professional football athlete.

He grew up in Invergordon coaching locally before moving to Edinburgh to study Sport and Exercise Science in 2006. He specialised in Football Science, Strength & Conditioning and Performance Analysis at Edinburgh Napier University. He then went on to complete his Masters degree in 2012.

As well as studying, Gregor has coached at various clubs across Scotland and the USA. He spent time as Napier University’s first team Manager as well as considerable time in Coaching and Sport Science roles at Cowdenbeath FC, Livingston FC, Dunfermline Athletic FC and a Director of Coaching in New Jersey. 

He has also completed his UEFA B Licence as well as numerous youth and children awards.

Gregor is absolutely thrilled to join the club and is excited to get started working with such a talented group of players.

 

Calum MacAskill  - Head Academy Physiotherapist

Calum is the club’s Head Academy Physiotherapist with a remit covering the full-time Development Squad, all academy age groups, and assisting with the first team.

Whilst studying for his BSc in Physiotherapy at Glasgow Caledonian University, Calum began gaining experience in football with full time placements at Ross County (working with Stuart Kettlewell and Steven Ferguson), Dundee United and St Mirren (working with Kevin Bain) - having also worked with Hamilton Academical and St Mirren youth academies.

Following on from his placement at Ross County, Calum travelled to Portugal in 2016 with Ross County’s Development squad to assist with the two week training camp.

After graduating university in 2016, Calum immediately joined St Mirren as Head Academy Physiotherapist. After a year there, Calum was excited to join Ross County to develop the Academy medical department in line with the new SFA Project Brave initiative, and to re-join a team with Stuart Kettlewell, Steven Ferguson and Kevin Bain.