Carlisle United have revealed a restructuring of roles in the club's academy.

Mark Birch is set to become lead professional development coach, which the club said will see him oversee all aspects of the under-18 football programme.

Eric Kinder, taking up a part-time role as professional development coach, will help him by coaching under-18s players.

Former youth development lead phase coach Simon Friel will be the new academy manager, leading on the Elite Player Performance Plan, while Dave Cullen has joined as academy physiotherapist to replace Chris Brunskill.

David Holdsworth, the club's director of football, said: "Eric approached me in confidence at the end of the season and he highlighted how much the role of academy manager has changed in so many aspects over the last few years.

“He talked about the additional clerical and administrational requirements which have been added to the core business of football, and he informed me that he was willing to stand down from that role, both for the good of the club and for the pathway going forward.

“However, I have a very good relationship with Eric, and I was able to persuade him to stay on board as I feel we need his support as we introduce this new structure.

“We had a frank and open conversation about his role, and I feel it’s imperative that we keep him as a mentor and with a lead role within our academy.

"He took a few days to think about our conversation, and I’m delighted that I’ve convinced him to stay.

“Eric and I know and believe this is the best way forward. As I say, Eric will mentor Mark, and it’s good to know that we all have the same ambition.

“I have to say that when it came to filling the academy manager position, Simon was my first thought, and that was backed up by Eric’s recommendation.

“I am really happy to be able to promote from within and the knowledge and administrational qualities Simon has will help the academy to continue to meet its EPPP requirements in those areas.

“The way we’ve restructured means that the football side doesn’t suffer, and the position Simon has vacated will be filled as quickly as possible.

“Sarah McKnight will add great knowledge and advice with administrative work, which we are indebted to going forward.

“With Mark, he’s an excellent coach and he will now manage all under-18 team football affairs before, during and after games, and through the week.

"This is much more responsibility, and I hope that he will respond.

“Mark is a personal friend who I’ve known for many years and I’m sure he will make this step up with ease.

“We feel these changes will help the academy to function in an even more efficient manner, bearing in mind that it is already a strong and professional department.”