JIM Gannon says he is relishing his new role in the development of young footballers and providing a pathway to Oldham Athletic’s Academy.

The former Stockport County player and manager has been appointed manager of Latics’ Football Education programme in partnership with Tameside College.

Launching for the first time this summer, the programme welcomes its first group of students who will study and play at Avro FC’s Vestacare Stadium.

The new FE programme will give young people the chance to receive professional football training alongside studying for a highly-commended and recognised academic qualification.

On his new role, Gannon – who has more than 30 years’ experience in the game having also managed Motherwell, Peterborough and Port Vale – said: “I’m really excited to be a part of this new journey that the Academy is embarking on and continue to help young footballers.

“I come into the role with plenty experience of helping developing players and across my career I’ve championed exceptional talent which has on many occasions flourished on the biggest stage.

“Our aim is to make sure alongside their studies they learn the principles of the game and become better human beings on and off the pitch. Those players signed on will also see a genuine pathway into the Academy and with hard work their dreams can be achieved.

“I’m here to help guide them but also make sure as a team we play attractive football that mirrors the philosophy of the Academy in a structured format of competitive fixtures against like-minded programmes.”