Port Vale Football Club are delighted to announce Billy Paynter has been appointed as Professional Development Phase Lead Coach.
Paynter joins Vale’s Academy coaching setup as the club’s seventh youngest debutant at just 16 years and 294 days old, when he made his first team bow against Walsall on 3 May 2001.
On rejoining the Vale, Billy said: “It’s a joy to be back where it all started. Coming through PVFC’s Centre of Excellence from the age of 10, I know what the DNA of Port Vale is and what sort of players we should be producing.”
Appointing an ex-professional, who entered the first team stage at such a young age with the Valiants is expected to benefit youth players throughout the Academy.
“In a way, I have lived and done this through my experiences and I will be passing down a lot that I have learned during not only my time at Port Vale, but the likes of Leeds, Doncaster, Hull City and Swindon.”
“I will also be passing down the experience I have picked up along the way of coaching at Category 1 Premier League clubs [Most recently Everton].”
Reflecting on the period since he finished his professional playing career and transitioned to coaching, Paynter highlighted the level of coaching detail as a key factor in developing youth prospects.
“When I finished football, I spent a period with Hartlepool and got the bug to coach and help on the coaching side. Going to Everton and coaching kids up to U-16, the coaching detail is so important and what I’ve learnt through the years there is very important to apply to younger players.”
“It’s ok speaking to a first team player, or professional footballer because they already know what you are trying to coach. For the younger players to understand, it needs to be broken down, simple and detailed.”
Paynter’s appointment follows that of Frank Sinclair, who joined the Valiants as Head of Coaching Development in an effort to further develop the Port Vale Academy prospects
“Myself and Frank have very high standards of how we want players to apply themselves on and off the pitch. We will be giving them top training sessions to help them develop on the ability they already have and bringing a professional side to them.”
“Results in the last couple of years haven’t been that great, so we have got to bring that enjoyment, excitement and will to win back into the place.”
While bringing a sense of enjoyment and excitement to the academy, Paynter highlighted that there is no substitute for hard work amongst Vale’s youth contingent.
“Hard work is the basic requirement you should have and going forward, your ability should shine through.”
In the almost 20 years since Paynter made his debut for the club, the former striker was quick to praise the recent improvements made to Vale Park.
“Even when I have come back to watch games, it was always good to be back and welcomed by the fans and staff. It is nice to see the main stand [Lorne Street] is finished! When I left it was still construction work.”
“Port Vale have got the right people in charge, with the best interests of the club at heart which is massive going forward.”
The Port Vale Academy was recently closed as a precautionary measure, with sessions scheduled to resume on Monday 12th October.