Working at The FA


Northumberland FA

Below you will find the members of staff who work within the organisation and a bio on them. If you wish to contact them please visit the Get In Touch page of our website.

Senior Management 


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 Phone: 0191 2700 700 (option 1 - option 5) 

By Mobile: 07983957916

mark Woodhall

Mark Woodhall

County Development Manager and Deputy Safeguarding Officer

Mark Woodhall is Northumberland FA’s County Development Manager (CDM) and has worked for the Association since 2003. His main area of focus as CDM, lies with supporting clubs and organisations to develop their facilities, including 3G pitches, clubhouses and work to support improvements with natural turf pitches. Mark also works to access funding opportunities to provide clubs with financial support to increase the number of teams they have or to assist with developing their volunteer workforce. 

Get In Touch

By Phone: 0191 2700 700 (option 2 - option 7) 

By Mobile: 07458043674


Andrew Cook

Football Operations Manager and Deputy Senior Safeguarding Lead

Andrew’s role is to oversee the running of the Operations 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 Phone: 0191 2700 700 (option 1 - option 4)

By Mobile: 07921144906



Gill Shields

Designated Safeguarding Officer

Get In Touch

By Phone: 0191 2700 700 (option 1 - option 3)

By Mobile: 07458043681



Rachel Carter

Football Operations Administrator

Before taking on her role at the County FA, Rachel was Logistics Coordinator for the RFU England Women’s teams, a position which involved arranging all off field logistics, including training schedules, travel, accommodation and match management. She also previously worked at Sussex University's SU as their Sports Coordinator and Major League Baseball as their Events Coordinator.

Rachel manages and administers County Cups, the FA Youth Team and manages reception on a daily basis. She also organises pitch bookings and provides administration support to the operations department and CEO.

Get In Touch

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

By Mobile: 07458043673

Scott Flynn

Scott Flynn

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

By Mobile: 07458043676

Ruth King


Football Operations Administrator

Get In Touch

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

By Mobile: 07458043673

Football Development

A Smith

Andrew Smith

Football Development Administrator

Andrew Smith studied Sports Science with Coaching (BSC HONS) at Northumbria University. He has previous experience within local grassroots football with senior teams in Northern Alliance and Tyneside Amateur leagues.

Working closely with Phil Robinson in the Coach Education department, Andrew is responsible for the organisation and administration of all courses. Outside of working with Northumberland FA, Andrew is a referee tutor and coach, and is involved with North Shields Juniors.

Get In Touch

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

By Mobile: 07458043680


Phil Robinson

Football Development Officer - Coach Education

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 Phone: 0191 2700 700 (option 2 - option 3) 

By Mobile: 07458043677


Ian Skinner

Football Development Officer - Youth Male

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 Phone: 0191 2700 700 (option 2 - option 5) 

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 Phone: 0191 2700 700 (option 2 - option 4) 

By Mobile: 07458043679

Lindsey Robinson

Lindsey Robinson

Referee Development Officer 

Lindsey is currently a Referee Development Officer at Northumberland FA and an active, Level 3 referee.

Before joining the County FA, Lindsey worked at Durham Sport for 13 years, and up until recently was coaching for the SAFC Girls Centre of Excellence with a UEFA B Licence. 

Beginning her role at Northumberland FA in October 2015, Lindsey’s responsibilities include recruiting new referees, supporting the Referee Affiliations, managing the NFA Centre of Excellence and supporting local, junior and adult leagues.  

Get In Touch

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

By Mobile: 07458043675

Mark Daglish

Mark Daglish

Football Development Officer - Disability


Get In Touch

By Phone:  

By Mobile: 07580116172


Adam Furness

Adam Furness

County Coach Developer 

Get In Touch

By Phone:  

By Mobile: 07812651713


Ryan Davies

Ryan Davies

Regional PE and Coaching in Education Co-ordinator

Ryan has recently been appointed as the Regional PE and Coaching in Education Coordinator for the North East region. Ryan has 10 years’ experience as a Head of Department and Physical Education teacher in both Primary and Secondary settings, alongside coaching in a Premier League Academy. As part of the role Ryan is available to provide tailored PE CPD sessions to teachers and trainees throughout Northumberland as well as delivering the FA Primary Teachers Award (see below). All sessions and courses are delivered free of charge by The FA. 

Get In Touch

By Phone:  

By Mobile: 07973816481


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