STRIKER Steve Guinan has replaced Jerry Gill as the manager of Harriers' youth academy.

The well-travelled striker has been working as first team coach this season but now takes the reins of the academy, which is ran in partnership with Stourbridge College.

Guinan, who is also registered as a player for Harriers, cut his coaching teeth as junior academy boss at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire.

From gaining national success with Hartpury, winning the England Colleges play-off final, he assumed a role with their senior academy side, claiming the British Universities and Colleges Premier League title, two years in succession.

He was subsequently appointed England Universities head coach and Great Britain Universities assistant coach. Guinan has gained the prestigious UEFA A Licence and holds a degree in Sports Science.

His work outside of playing has also seen him hold roles in the Centres of Excellence for the likes of Plymouth Argyle and Cheltenham Town as part of a vast body of coaching work.

As a player Steve has played professionally for more than 20 years and achieved glittering success; turning out for Nottingham Forest, Hereford United, Northampton Town and most recently, Kidderminster.

“I am delighted with this opportunity and am really looking forward to working more closely with Steve Burr and Gary Whild, as well as continuing with the good relationship that has been created with Stourbridge College," commented Guinan.

“Fundamental to the club’s future success will be the development of the Academy.

"An important part of the plan is to promote players to the first team through our own Academy and hopefully this will give our young Academy players a real lift to know they will have another person fighting their corner.

“From a first team perspective we are very clear about what the Club needs in terms of the types of players who can make an impact but we need to recruit well at all Academy and Development age groups, in order to be successful.

“The Academy is also committed to the development of first class individuals through a comprehensive off-the-field education and welfare programme, provided through our partnership with Stourbridge College, in order to produce young men of integrity with the best possible chance to play professional football for Kidderminster Harriers Football Club.”

Harriers chairman Mark Serrell said: “I am delighted for Steve as I know he’s tremendously excited by his new opportunity but I really must put on record how fortunate we are as an Academy and a football club to have him in post.

“His record as a player is second to none but, perhaps more importantly now, his career as a coach stands on its own and his record with Hartpury is superb.

“The development of our young players not only with their football but also educationally has never been so crucial and Steve is without a doubt the ideal candidate to keep driving the Academy forward.

“I would like to also thank the staff of the Football Academy, along with Gary Whild and Matty Gardiner for their hard work and assistance in the interim period prior to Steve’s appointment.”

He replaces former Birmingham City defender Jerry Gill, who managed the Academy when it was set-up in the summer of 2011. He left in February, with Gary Whild and Matt Gardiner temporarily taking charge.

Stella Raphael-Reeves Director of Sport at Stourbridge College added: “Myself and the Academy team Andrew Blakeley, Luke Astley, Andrew Glover, David Faulkner, Daryl Smith, Scott Mason and Chris Allen are all delighted and excited for Steve to join us.”

“We acknowledge his experience and expertise as a coach and look forward to a successful future.”