Northumberland FA has appointed a new chief executive officer as it looks to move the organisation forward.
John Ackerley has more than 17 years leadership experience in the sports sector.
He takes over the role after previously working for the FA as regional manager for the national game.
He has outlined his main priority as providing the highest quality service possible to existing and future stakeholders in the County FA.
“Delivering excellence for all involved in football in Northumberland is my main aim. I want everyone engaging with us to have an excellent experience,” he said.
“Northumberland is an area full of passionate football people, and I believe it is the prominent sport in the region.
“There is so much potential in the wider community and within this organisation, which attracted me to this role.
“We’re successful at the moment, but positive change can definitely be made.”
Ackerley was among the first football development officers in the country in 2000 and has been involved in growing the game ever since.
After creating a complete football development team at the Cheshire FA, he was tasked with helping other County FAs to improve their strategies in a senior role with the FA.
Alongside his business credentials, Ackerley previously worked as a coach with The FA’s national partially sighted team and has fulfilled multiple other coaching roles.
He is also a qualified coach educator and still plays regularly – giving him a well-rounded bank of experience to draw from in his new position.
Due to his enthusiasm for the sport, ensuring there are opportunities within football for all is another key focus for the new CEO.
He added: “Inclusiveness and equality is incredibly important. I’m really focused on increasing opportunities for everyone in Northumberland.
“We are currently in the process of obtaining the Equality Standard for Northumberland FA, and setting up an independent inclusion advisory group to help shape, and provide us with feedback on, our products and services to the game.
“Once our plans are confirmed we will be looking for people to support our advisory group.”
Engagement with stakeholders will also be integral to improving the County FA moving forwards.
He said: “I want everyone to feel like they can get in touch with us, to discuss how we can improve the game in Northumberland.
“We’re here to support people and we want them to know that.”