joined Norwich at the age of 11 later captaining the Norwich City
associate schoolboy team until the age of 16 when he missed out
on an apprenticeship. It was during this period, he first met Kit
Carson. On his departure from Norwich, he went onto Scarborough
for a year.. He always had the potential to become a good coach
and he seriously started working on that side of the game during
his late teens and he quickly rose to the top, joining Peterborough
after finishing his A levels. Gaffa can proudly boast of being the
second youngest coach to earn the full badge, only former Watford
boss Graham Taylor was younger when he gained his badge.
John was Kit's right hand man at Peterborough with the Under 16s,
he was responsible for planing all of the Academy’s coaching programmes
from Under 8 to right up to Under 16 level. He was also managing
the Under 18 team that challenges for the FA Youth Cup.
Although John expressed interest in the vacant Peterborough management
post that would become available when Barry Fry retired, he instead
took up a role with the Republic of Ireland as Head of Player Development.
In 2012, he joined Brighton as Academy Director and took charge
of the development squad in July 2013.