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Built on Trust: Inside Birmingham City Academy

Kristjaan Speakman has been involved in player development for almost two decades. He is leading a program at Birmingham City FC Academy where he emphasises the value of having an incredibly strong team and focusing the curriculum around a safe and open environment. As a result of that, he and his team are producing players. In his interview with Kristjaan, PDP’s Dave Wright goes in depth into how Birmingham City FC Academy operates and discusses the success of a program which has produced Demarai Gray, Jack Butland and Nathan Redmond.

Kristjaan Speakman is a passionate player developer who has always had a love for football. Despite the unique spelling of his name – his mother has Estonian heritage – his roots lie in the Midlands. Born and raised in Derby to parents both with a teaching background, he grew up watching Derby County FC and remains a fan, following the team when he can around work commitments.

Growing up, he would regularly play football in the park or on a little bit of grass between two housing estates every night...

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