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Ricky Martin

Norwich Career: Associate Schoolboy, Assistant Academy Director (2001-2004), Academy Manager (2004-14) & Technical Director (2014-17)
Current Club:
Date of Birth:  
Nationality: English


Former Norwich City associate schoolboy Ricky Martin is a busy man. Not content with playing for Soham in the Jewson Eastern Counties League, he was also Cambridge United's Youth Development Officer, taking on this role in the summer of 1996. Ricky holds an FA Preliminary Badge and has also worked at the PASS soccer school in Taverham just outside of Norwich. His playing career took him to the Cambridge United youth team and Jewson Eastern Counties League sides Downham Market, Diss Town, Great Yarmouth Town, Wroxham, Histon, Mildenhall and Diss, before moving to Soham in March 2001.

In July 2001, Ricky's work at Cambridge was recognised when he was appointed Assistant Academy Director at Norwich City. He had responsibility for young Canaries aged 8-16. He was rewarded for his good work at this level when he was appointed Academy Manager in May 2004 following the departure of Sammy Morgan. Working with David Williams (Assistant Academy Manager and Technical Director), Ricky has responsibility for all of the other elements of the Academy, including administration, pastoral care and education whilst Williams is responsible for overseeing the coaching of all age groups within the Academy and the day-to-day coaching and preparation of the Club's under 18 side

Following the retirement of David Williams in June 2007, Ricky's role enhanced from Academy Manager to Academy Manager/Youth Team Coach and he will now be working with City's rising stars on the training pitch at Colney every day and taking charge of the team for all matches at Under-18 level. He will be assisted by former King's Lynn and Wisbech Town Manager and UEFA Pro A Licence holder Darren Bloodworth, who will combine coaching support for Ricky with his existing role as Education Officer for the Academy. Andrew Blofeld left his role as Assistant Club Secretary and moved to Colney as Academy Operations Manager, where he will take on much of the office based work of the Academy Manager's role enabling Ricky to spend more time on the field with the players

In July 2014, Ricky was appointed to Norwich's football board as Technical Director.

On 13th April 2017, Norwich confirmed the departure of Martin, along with Les Darnborough and Tony Spearing, with immediate effect as part of the club's restructuring following the appointment of new sporting director Stuart Webber A separate statement confirming Martin’s immediate exit says: “The board of directors would like to place on record their sincere thanks to Ricky for his committed service to the club for almost 16 years across several football department roles.”

On 8th January 2019, Ricky was named West Ham's Academy Operations and Player Development Manager. In May 2019, he was promoted to the role of Academy Manager replacing Terry Westley. Martin said “I am delighted and honoured to be appointed Academy Manager at West Ham United,” he confirmed. “It’s a great privilege and I am really looking forward to the challenge ahead. If you look at the foundations here and what has happened over not just the last five years, but decades with Tony Carr, leading into Terry Westley’s time, we’ve had two fantastic Academy Managers, two iconic individuals in youth development, renowned for producing young players, so to follow in those footsteps is a big challenge but something I am looking forward to. “It’s been great to work for the last four months with everyone at the Academy, and I am now even more excited, because I can see the talent and the potential that this Academy has, and I want to fulfil that.”

Martin left West Ham in early October 2022 with reports suggesting that he was to become Technical Director at Stoke City managed by former Norwich boss Alex Neil. His appointment at Stoke was confirmed on 9th November 2022 with Martin taking up his role on 14th November 2022. He will work in close collaboration with manager Alex Neil and will oversee various departments, including player recruitment, scouting and analysis, medical, sports science and the Academy. Neil said: “Ricky’s reputation in the game speaks for itself and I firmly believe that attracting a person of his calibre to the Club is a real coup for us and bodes well for the future and what we are looking to achieve.” Joint Chairman John Coates said: “Ricky brings an enormous amount of experience to the role and has a proven track record in player development and recruitment which makes him an excellent fit for us.”

Martin was sacked by Stoke on 22nd February 2024. Since the end of the 2022/23 season, Stoke had made 25 new signings but were 19th in the Championship at the time of the sacking, three points above the relegation zone. Former Stoke player Jon Walters took interim charge. Stoke chairman John Coates said: "With results having fallen significantly short of our ambitions during the current season, we believe it is essential to take on a new direction. Ricky has worked tirelessly in his attempts to bring success to Stoke City, and I am appreciative of his hard work and dedication. Jonathan is ideally suited to the interim role and I'm thankful to him for stepping in to support a club I know is close to his heart, at this time.We will run a full and robust recruitment process with immediate effect."

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