FORMER York City hero Andy McMillan will be mixing business with pleasure in his new role at Premier League neighbours Hull City.
McMillan, a member of the Minstermen’s victorious 1993 Wembley team, has been appointed as the Tigers’ new enterprise co-ordinator.
The job will see the Leeds University business management graduate combine coaching – his first love – with passing on his experiences of the corporate world to Year Nine students in the Hull area.
Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson first devised the Football Enterprise Academy concept six years ago with Hull now adopting the programme, which leads to an OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA examinations) vocational-related qualification.
The course consists of ten modules, concentrating on areas such as advertising, customer services, the media and marketing and their relevance in football.
McMillan will be delivering the programme, which is also being introduced at Newcastle, Aston Villa, Manchester City and Blackburn, with the support of former England international Nick Barmby, who has volunteered his services as Hull’s enterprise champion.
In addition, McMillan, whose 493 appearances for the Minstermen between 1987 and 1999 place him second in the all-time list, will continue coaching the Tigers’ Centre of Excellence players and, having overseen the under-14s and U15s over the past two seasons, is expected to take the U16s during 2009/10 as he aims to complete his UEFA ‘A’ licence.
He has also been invited on the first team’s Asian Trophy trip this month, where he will be passing on tips to Beijing-based coaches.
Said McMillan: “The one thing I enjoy most in life is coaching but I’ve been to university and worked for myself as well as big, multi-national firms so I feel I’m in a strong position to advise and develop students both in and out of the classroom.
“The opportunity to manage the new enterprise project was an offer I couldn’t refuse. The club are on the rise and it’s great to be involved in a Premier League environment.”
Until last season, Haxby-based McMillan was a member of Bootham Crescent’s Centre of Excellence staff as well, but is now concentrating fully on his KC Stadium responsibilities.
He also revealed the Minstermen asked him to apply for their youth coach vacancy only for his pal Steve Torpey to be handed the job.
Nevertheless, McMillan, now 41, has not given up on his hope of returning in a more senior role in the future, adding: “Unfortunately, it did not work out for me at York but I’d love to go back one day. That’s my dream.
“Theirs is still the first result I look for and it would be where I’d want to start coaching or management. I’ve not managed yet but want to and it’s about getting that first opportunity.
“Hopefully, no doors have been closed there because I still get on with the people and the fans at York. I got phone calls from the club to send in my CV for the youth team job, which I did, but, for whatever reason, they decided not to go with me.
“That was their decision and I wish Steve all the best because he’s a good friend of mine who I’ve worked with at Hull.”
McMillan, who served his City scholarship under future Manchester United coach and Premier League manager Ricky Sbragia, believes it is getting more difficult, however, for City to attract the best local youngsters.
The Minstermen’s current Blue Square Premier status and dated facilities, allied with aggressive scouting by bigger clubs and an onus on parents to help fund their child’s apprenticeship, have all impacted on youth development at Bootham Crescent.
Having played for City during an era when the club regularly finished higher in the Football League pyramid than his current employers, McMillan also reckons a move away from Bootham Crescent would help rectify matters.
He said: “York have produced some good players over the years and, when Ricky was in charge, the youth system was set up correctly.
“It was at the forefront of people’s minds at the club and you need that community feel around the place. At the moment, it’s getting more difficult for the club to compete for players.
“We have kids here at Hull who travel over from York, while Leeds and Manchester City are also active in the area.
“With Hull, the KC Stadium has taken the football club to another level.
“They are in the Premier League and setting up a new academy.
“It’s a shame to see where York are at the moment because they should be a League One or Two club and it’s not that long ago since we nearly reached the old First Division.
“But, with a new ground and good backing, they can get themselves out of their current situation.”