Former Birkirkara and Valletta defender, Justin Tellus, has been appointed as director of football of a new Leeds United elite player development scholarship.
Tellus played the entirety of his career in Malta, mostly in the Maltese Premier League, beginning his career with Sliema Wanderers in 1993 and retiring from playing football in 2008
After retirement he spent seven years away from football before joining English non-league side Matlock Town as the club’s development manager.
During his four years at Matlock he oversaw the sale of the club’s first academy graduate to a professional club in their 141-year history, with the transfer of Max Hunt to Derby County.
“We’ve had four amazing years of success in the development sector at Matlock but for me the time is right, looking ahead into the next few seasons,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to getting started on such an exciting programme with Leeds United to help develop young people, whilst still continuing in my development manager role with Matlock.”
The English Championship side’s new project will offer 16-18 year olds the chance to play elite competitive football for the age range, while earning qualifications in sport through Leeds United Sports College.
Tellus will be the director of football for the hub of the project which will be based in the Derbyshire region of England.
Students in the programme, which will be run by DFK limited in association with the Sports College, will attain a Level 3 BTEC qualification over the two-year period.
Tellus explained: “This is a fantastic opportunity for promising youngsters across the region to progress in their football career while obtaining high-level education and pathways through Leeds United Sports College.
“As director of football of the Derbyshire hub I will overlook the running of the new elite player development scholarship in North Derbyshire, and there are three channels of recruitment for talented young people to get involved.
“Firstly, we’ll be looking at players in grassroots with potential and secondly there are a lot of players being released at Under-16 level that we can give a second chance to.
“Thirdly, there will be chances for lads and girls to apply for trials to get involved, but not just players, young people who want to be involved in careers around sport too.”
Former Sheffield United striker and Leeds legend Brian Deane has also been announced as part of the programme, alongside ex-professionals Noel Whelan and Andy Kiwomya.
Deane, who scored the first ever goal in the English Premier League whilst at Sheffield United, was delighted to welcome Tellus as part of the elite player development scholarship.
“Justin is an ex-professional with experience playing abroad and he brings a unique skillset to the team.
“What he has achieved in the past few years is inspirational, bringing players like Max Hunt, Zak Brunt, and Ashton Hall, through a football and education programme into professional football.
“We are looking forward to working together to provide quality with Leeds United to the region, while giving pathways and opportunities through this exciting new programme.”