John McDermott to succeed Les Reed as technical director from 2021

Tuesday 06 Oct 2020
McDermott joined The FA in March, initially as assistant technical director

We can confirm that Les Reed will leave his role as technical director at the end of the year, with John McDermott stepping up as his successor.

With the delay to international football meaning five senior tournaments will take place over the next four years and having completed a restructure of the technical division, Reed wanted to ensure a stable leadership team could be in place to drive The FA through this condensed period.

From January 2021, McDermott – who has worked closely with Reed since being recruited in May, particularly across England men’s development teams – will move into the technical director role. He will also lead the search for a new assistant technical director.

In his two years with The FA – his third spell with the organisation – Reed has helped to set England teams on course for a new 2020-to-2024 strategy, working closely across the senior, U21 and other development sides.

Reed has also prioritised coach development, overseen a renewed commitment to FA Education and worked with the wider game to ensure the player pathway can continue to drive new English talent through the St. George’s Park system.

He will continue to be involved in external working groups, including as vice-chair of the UEFA Technical Development Committee and as a director of the Professional Game Academy Audit Board.

Reed pictured alongside England senior men's manager Gareth Southgate during a training session

Reed said: “I would like to thank everyone in the technical division for their dedication and diligence through a challenging period for us all. I was delighted to have been given the opportunity to return to The FA and had hoped that by now we would have returned victorious from UEFA EURO and the Olympics. Instead my work has been focused on making sure we are in the best possible shape going forward to compete at all levels.

"With the impact to the international calendar due to the pandemic – and the men’s and women’s EUROs being pushed back – I felt it was the right time for someone else to take on the challenge to ensure consistency of leadership through this busy tournament period to the EURO 2024 in Germany. John was always the right person to lead this.

"I am confident we have put in place the right framework to give us every chance of winning a major tournament in the next four years."

Mark Bullingham, our chief executive, added: “Les has led the technical division, the largest team we have, through an extremely difficult period for all caused by the global pandemic. He and his team have taken tough decisions to react positively to these challenges. 

"He has restructured and redistributed resources in a way that protects our development pathways, focusing activity to give us the best possible competitive advantage. Les offers high-level counsel on almost any issue and will be missed but has put in place a strong successor in John McDermott.

"I am delighted John has agreed to step up and have complete confidence in him to continue to take the technical team forward while helping our England teams to achieve success."

By FA Staff