Working at The FA


Northumberland FA

Below you will find the members of staff who work within the organisation. If you wish to contact the staff directly please use the details attached to their profile.


The business development unit supports the growth of the company, helping us to invest more resource into the game than ever before, whilst also ensuring we communicate and gain feedback effectively from our customers.


John Ackerley

Chief Executive and Senior Safeguarding Lead

John has over 20 years experience of leadership in football. He has worked predominately as a County Development Manager, Regional Manager at The FA and as a CEO. In addition John has a desire for teaching and learning and has also taught within the education sector, coached football from grassroots to elite international level and has completed a Masters qualification in executive coaching and mentoring at Sheffield Hallam Business School. John has responsibility for Northumberland FAs business plan ensuring that the structure of the business allows us to maximise our investment in the game.  

Get In Touch

By Email:

By Phone: 0191 2700 700 

By Mobile: 07983957916


Andrew Cook

Commercial Manager and Deputy Senior Safeguarding Lead

Andrew’s role is to oversee the running of the Business Development department, ensuring the correct strategic direction of the department is sustained. Andrew leads of club affiliation, league sanctioning and player registration on behalf of the Association. As of 2017 Andrew is also an FA qualified discipline secretary allowing him to sit on all County FA disciplinary proceedings. Furthermore, Andrew helps oversee the commercial advancement of Northumberland FA through sponsorship, partnerships and marketing ventures.

Get In Touch

By Email:

By Phone
: 0191 2700 700 (option 5)

By Mobile: 07921144906

Dan S

Dan Simmonite

Marketing & Communications Officer

Dan handles the marketing for Northumberland FA. He has previous experience in media roles with BT Sport and local National League side Blyth Spartans as well as links with the local newspapers in the area.

Working closely with the staff and key NFA partners, Dan is responsible for the branding and social media output for the organisation. He also manages the press coverage around our County Cups and Youth Team throughout the season.

Get In Touch

By Email:

By Phone: 0191 2700 700 (option 5)

Football Administration

The administrative unit delivers the administration of player registration, club affiliation, league sanctioning, referee registration, coach and volunteer education amongst other functions in the company.

Lynn Barber

Head of Administration 

Lynn oversees all Coach Education administration and provides support to candidates.  She also helps with the administration of discipline, charter standard applications and also adult recreational football and is located at the reception on a daily basis.

Lynn's previous role was an Administrator for Staffordshire FA, but having lived away from Newcastle and moving around for the last 18 years she moved back to the North East in December to settle with family.

Get In Touch

By Email:

By Phone: 0191 2700 700 (option 1)

Andrew Neill


Andrew provides admin support for the department. He assists with administrating County Cups, Schools FA, FA Youth Team and is located within reception here at Northumberland FA.

Andrew previously studied Sports Science at Teesside University and went on to work with Blyth Spartans A.F.C before joining Northumberland FA.

Get in Touch

By Email:

By Phone: 0191 270 0700 (option 1)

Dora Jakab


Get In Touch

By Email:

By Phone: 0191 2700 700 (option 1)


The football quality unit’s remit is to ensure that participants in the game have an excellent experience through the provision of a quality facility, quality referee and a well skilled volunteer workforce, including coaches.


Phil Robinson

Head of Football Quality

In 2003, Phil Robinson joined Northumberland FA on a voluntary basis, working for three years, helping to administer courses and running two successful football festivals. 

He joined the team full-time as a Football Development Administrator and in August 2015 was promoted to Football Development Officer, to head up Coach Education for Northumberland. This has involved maintaining an already successful Coach Education programme, targeting coaches already with the county and coaches starting their coaching journey. 

Get In Touch

By Email:

By Phone
: 0191 2700 700 (option 4) 

By Mobile: 07903070268

Scott Flynn

Scott Flynn

Facilities Officer

Having previously worked for Newcastle United Foundation, Walbottle Campus and Carlisle United as First Team Opposition Scout, Scott Flynn joined Northumberland FA as Discipline Officer. 

Scott’s role at the County FA involves delivering an excellent discipline service by being as open and approachable as possible, and he has already improved communication with clubs, leagues and referees by sending out a weekly update. Scott also works for Opta as an In-Stadium Analyst at Newcastle United.

Get In Touch

By Email:

By Phone: 0191 2700 700 (Option 4)

Adam Nichol

Referee Development Officer (RDO)

Adam is our Referee Development Officer and is the point of contact for all referees in the county.

Get In Touch 

By Email:

By Phone: 0191 2700 700 (option 4)


The football participation unit focuses on maintaining and increasing levels of participants in the male, female and game for people with a disability. The unit supports clubs and leagues and ensures we have appropriate and adequate player pathways for all participants.


Ian Skinner

Head of Football Participation

Ian's role is to support the delivery of the National Game Strategic Priorities across Northumberland FA in partnership with key stakeholders. This includes the planning and delivery of programmes to meet targets to retain and grow participation for youth male players.  He takes specific responsibility for the Charter Standard programme and other programmes that support youth Clubs and Leagues including competition structures to ensure they meet the player’s needs. 

In addition Ian is an FA Affiliate Tutor at Level 1 and level 2 and delivers Coach Education on behalf of the County FA.

Get In Touch

By Email:

By Phone
: 0191 2700 700 (option 3) 

By Mobile: 07458043678


Nicola Hepworth

Football Development Officer - Women and Girls

Nicola began work in a Women, Girls and Disability FDO role at Northumberland Sport in September 2003, before continuing her role at Northumberland FA in 2009. 

Her role at Northumberland FA changed in January 2017 to a Women’s and Girls’ FDO, meaning she now organises and develops football opportunities for females of all ages. Among other things, she provides this support through SSE Wildcats Girls’ Football Clubs, The FA Girls’ England Talent Pathway, a Girls and Women’s League and The Female Coach Mentoring Programme.

Get In Touch

By Email:

By Phone
: 0191 2700 700 (option 3) 

By Mobile: 07458043679

Football Compliance

Our football compliance unit works on ensuring the game is a safe place for people to participate. For any safeguarding concerns please email or call 07715254141.


Sally O'Donnell / Neil Yates

Interim Safeguarding Contacts

Please use the contact details to the right in order to report any safeguarding concerns.

Get In Touch

By Email:

By Phone:07715254141

Adam Williamson

Discipline Officer

Get In Touch

By Email:

By Phone: 0191 2700 700 (option 2 - option 1)

By Mobile: 07458043674  

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