Youth Team Staff Profiles

Mark Litherland
Academy Manager

Ryan Kidd
Youth Team Manager

Ryan Kidd is a former football defender who is now working as head of Youth at Bury.  Following a move from Port Vale in 1992, he spent ten years with Preston North End, before retiring from the game at age 30 due to injury. During his time at the club, Preston won promotion as Third Division champions in 1995–96 and Second Division champions in 1999–2000; and were one game away from promotion to the Premier League in 2001. He turned to coaching once his playing days finished, and was briefly the manager of Darlington in June 2010.

Kidd graduated through the Port Vale youth team to sign his first professional forms under John Rudge in July 1990. He made one league start and three cup appearances as a substitute in the 1991–92 season, but was given a free transfer in May 1992 and moved on to Les Chapman's Preston North End, also of the Second Division. Kidd was a key first team member in 1996–97, making 40 appearances as Preston retained their third tier status. They achieved another comfortable mid-table in 1997–98, and Kidd played 44 games, scoring in wins over Wigan Athletic and Luton Town, and retaining his first team place under teammate turned manager David Moyes. For the third time in Kidd's Preston career, the Deepdale club reached the play-offs in 1998–99 following a fifth-place finish; however they missed the play-off Final with Manchester City after losing out to Gillingham at the semi-final stage. Kidd had played 33 games over the course of the campaign, scoring at Wrexham and in both games against Chesterfield. Preston continued to progress, and won promotion as champions in 1999–2000, finishing seven points ahead of second-place Burnley; Kidd played a total of 38 games.

He played just fifteen First Division games in 2000–01 after recovering from serious neck surgery, but played every minute of the three play-off games. Preston progressed past Birmingham City following a penalty shoot-out, but were denied a place in the Premier League after a 3–0 defeat to Bolton Wanderers in the Final at the Millennium Stadium. He was limited to just seven appearances in 2001–02, before he was forced to retire in November 2001, after suffering a serious neck injury (a collapsed disc meant he could not safely head the ball again). For his ten years service and more than 300 league and cup appearances for the ""Lambs"", Kidd was granted a testimonial match in summer 2002 against Kevin Keegan's Manchester City.

Kidd joined Barnsley in January 2006, where he was the assistant manager working alongside manager Simon Davey, in which they are still remembered for their famous 2008 FA Cup run leading Barnsley to the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley, having knocked out Liverpool at Anfield, then beating Chelsea at home in the quarter finals. Previously he had gained his coaching and managerial experiences working as Development Centre Manager and under-18 team coach at Preston North End, before taking up the offer of Centre of Excellence Manager at Bury. He left Barnsley in September 2009 after almost three years, following the sacking of Simon Davey. In March 2010, Davey and Kidd again teamed up to take over at League Two side Darlington. Davey resigned after just eleven weeks, and on 17 June 2010 Kidd took over as manager of Darlington. He signed a two-year contract, however he lasted just eleven days, resigning on 28 June without taking charge of a first-team game and making no signings, after he had second thoughts about the job.

In February 2014, Kidd became the under-18's manager at Bury and quickly set about overhauling the youth system at Carrington.  Such was his success that the Young Shakers claimed the Youth Alliance league title in his second year, and the youngsters finished runners up on the final day of last season after a 1-0 defeat at the hands of eventual Champions Wigan Athletic.  This season has started similarly for the Youngsters as they lie in third position poised to strike for the top gongs again.

Jamie Hesketh
Fitness/Preformance Coach + Sports Scientist

Liverpool John Moores University, 2011 - 2014, Bachelor of Science (BS), Science and Football (Soccer). Previous to this, I studied at Hopwood Hall College, BTECH National Diploma in Sport. I first started working at Bury FC in 2014, as the First Team Performance Analyst, however, my interest and knowledge always lied in the Sports Science department and when a job vacancy came I was the first to step in. The role I had undertaken as the Youth Team U18’s Sports Scientist not only had allowed me to look after the Youth Team lads, it has also expanded and I have also taken on the responsibility of the Lead Academy Strength & Conditioning Coach/Lead Sports Scientist, allowing me to work with the younger age groups throughout the Academy, aiming to progress into a scholarship. 

Working for Bury FC within the Sports Science and Medical Department, has helped me progress to a high position in the early stages of my career.

The main roles and responsibility within my job is the planning and implementation of daily nutrition and supplement strategies, working alongside the chefs within the training ground to ensure that players get the correct food to maintain their training. Also daily, weekly and monthly ‘tactical periodisation’ through consistently monitoring the players’ training load through heart rate and GPD data tracking systems, this is to ensure the players don’t over train and try and keep over use and soft tissue  injuries to a minimum. 

This role also involves the planning of individual and team-based functional conditioning sessions and pre-habilitation sessions and implementing pitch based and gym based ‘End Stage Rehabilitation’ programmes, to get players back to match fitness and returning to training. 

My role within the Academy has similar responsibilities. Such as pre-activation,  general warm ups, regeneration and recovery sessions. Whilst overseeing Fitness, Physiological and Anthropometry Testing and Recording and monitoring players’ physical development.

I take pride, along with the other members of coaching staff in helping and watching the under 18’s  players  develop over the two years that we get with them. Not only physically in my own domain, but technically, tactically and psychologically grow into young professionals that hopefully gain a First Team contract, and go on to play in the First Team, or even move onto bigger things and play in the Premier League. The camp which the staff run is tight and very close-knit, everyone is so passionate, and cares so much we work together every day, to get as many young lads in the first team as possible.

Tom Walsh
Youth Sports Therapist

Graham Hastings
Lead Foundation Phase Coach

I qualified as a UEFA licensed Coach in 2008. A history of my coaching career includes Skelmersdale United Under 18's and Reserves, I was here for 4 years. I was Prescot Cables First Team Coach for one year,l Wigan Athletic 4 years and Accrington Stanley one year. I came to Bury FC initially on a part-time basis, coaching ages 9 to 16's. I am now full time at Bury FC as Lead Foundation Phase Coach with my main responsibility overseeing the coaches and players from the U9's to the U12's.  I love the playing philosophies throughout the Bury FC Academy, from U9's to U16's and onto Youth Team and First Team. There are a lot of very knowledgeable football people at Bury FC who I learn off every day, the training centre always has a fantastic environment to be working in, and the team works very well together.

David Fitzgerald
Youth Development Lead Coach

I initially worked at Bolton Wanderers both as a Scout and Development Coach for the International Academy. This allowed me to coach in countries such as Columbia, India, Australia and USA, trying to identify players to bring back to England.

I then started with Accrington Stanley in 2010 as a part-time coach, initially working with the Under 9’s and progressing through the age groups to work with Under 16’s. After completing a role at the London Olympics, I then was offered a full-time role with them, initially working as Youth Development Lead Coach. Over the years I progressed to be Lead Professional Development Phase Coach & Head of Coaching, up until this year where I was offered the role as Youth Development Lead Coach at Bury FC.