Charlton Academy Manager Steve Avory was proud to recently receive the 2018 Eamonn Dolan award.
The accolade, which was introduced last year, recognises outstanding work in youth development football.
Eight members of academy staff from various football clubs were shortlisted for this year’s award, with Queens Park Rangers’ Chris Ramsey and the Addicks’ Avory being the recipients.
“I was humbled to receive the award but very proud too,” said Avory, who is approaching 18 years of service at Charlton.
“To receive the award in front of so many people who I have known for so many years, and to have been nominated by those who I have worked with for many years is humbling.
“I’m proud to win it on behalf of Charlton, I’ve dedicated almost a third of my working life to this academy, so I hope it means something to the club as well and the many people who have supported me over the years.
“I’d like to thank the people who have been around me at the academy for a number of years. Rhys Williams is approaching 10 years, Adam Lawrence has completed six years, Jason Euell has been here as a coach for four years and I have to come to Joe Francis.
“Joe has been at Charlton – firstly as a part-time tutor and then as our Head of Education – for most of the time I have been at Charlton. Lee Smelt is another one and David Chatwin is too.
“To be able to build and develop a culture, it takes time. It’s best achieved and more easily achieved if you have got good quality people and retain them. If you continue to change then things cannot develop. I’ve always maintained that.”
The award was introduced last year following the tragic passing of Reading’s Academy Manager Eamonn Dolan, following a long battle with cancer, in June 2016.
During Dolan’s 12 years at Reading, 32 young players progressed through the Royals’ academy ranks and went on to make senior debuts for the club.
Charlton’s academy has also thrived in recent years, with 20 players making first-team bows in the last four seasons. Avory is also proud to have won an award in Dolan’s name.
He said: “Eamonn was someone I had a lot of time for and he always had time for me at Charlton. Whenever you spoke to Eamonn, he always believed that we had many good coaches in this country who do a fantastic job in youth development.
“I believe that too and I’ve always championed that and I would hope to continue the legacy of Eamonn in my work.”