Goalball UK has welcomed former Sunderland AFC academy director Paul Reid to its board as a non-executive director. Paul brings a wealth of experience in the football industry following his role in the north-east of England.

Here Paul was responsible for introducing a new strategy to provide clarity and structure for each department of Sunderland’s academy, which presented a common-goal for the organisation to work towards achieving. This resulted in the academy’s productivity rating, against the other 92 clubs in the football league, rising over 50 places during his two-year tenure.

Furthermore, Paul also oversaw the Black Cat’s academy through the rigorous Premier League audit to achieve the coveted category one status.

Prior to this, Paul was the head of player recruitment at Eastleigh FC. Here he was tasked with discovering players through comprehensive analysis, while establishing a clear player identity for the club and position specific attributes.

As well as his work in professional football, Paul holds a master’s degree in Sport Directorship and is studying for a Reflective Leadership qualification in the Premier League’s Elite Academy Managers Programme.

Speaking about joining the board at Goalball UK, Paul commented: “I have always been a passionate sportsman, so I am very fortunate to work in an industry that I love. This passion and enthusiasm are what gave me the impetus to get involved with Goalball UK.

“The sport has been growing for a number of years now and I hope the support that I will offer can accelerate this. I look forward to working with the team to help align the different aspects of the organisation so we can achieve our ultimate goal of growing the game and transforming more lives.

“I can’t wait to get started and when the opportunity allows, giving the sport a go myself!”

John Grosvenor, chair at Goalball UK, said: “We are thrilled that Paul is joining Goalball UK. He will provide incredible guidance as we aim to become more robust and united in each department. Paul’s vision and expertise will really complement the team in place as we embark on our ambitious journey to achieve sporting success and support the UK’s blind and partially sighted communities.

“Despite UK Sport’s decision not to fund Goalball UK’s Progression Fund application we remain committed to developing our most talented athletes and progression of our high-performance system. This is evident through the appointment of Paul, who will have a big influence on how this side of the sport moves forward and develops.”