Atlanta United academy director promises "different type of environment"

Atlanta United made a major developmental hire earlier this month, appointing 60-year-old Englishman Richard Money as their academy director.

Money comes to Atlanta after a distinguished career as a player and coach. He won the European Cup as a Liverpool defender in 1981, served as head coach of Swedish club AIK, English side Cambridge United and Australian team Newcastle Jets and held high-level positions with Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Coventry City.

He recently sat down with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, sharing some of his thoughts on youth development with the paper’s Doug Roberson. Money made a few interesting remarks during the interview, perhaps none more revealing than his desire to truly develop players, even if it comes at the cost of winning academy games.

“Everybody wants to win. Sport, soccer, whatever sport you do. Winning is important, but it won’t be our No. 1 priority,” he said. “We don’t have to win. It’s about developing, teaching, learning and encouraging people to try things.

“It will be a different type of environment where you won’t be criticized. We will be pushing, we will be challenging, we’re going to be demanding. We’re going to want standards. But we will allow people to make mistakes because that’s how people learn.”

You can find Part I of the AJC’s interview with Money here. Click here for Part II.