FORMER Eccleshill boss Gerard Jones is swapping Plumpton Park for a spell in America.

Jones, who was head coach at the Eagles when they were associated with the Richmond International Academic and Soccer Academy (RIASA), has landed himself a plum job in Michigan.

He said: “I’m moving to America for a while after being offered the director of coaching role at East Side FC in Michigan.

“They are a really big club with 200 select players, the ones that represent their teams, and more than 600 recreational players.

"They have boys and girls that play for their teams from under-sevens to under-18s in the leagues and tournaments that they have or just to take part in the global game.”

The new job is a return to Jones’ main strengths and first love which is developing players and improving young lives.

He continued to work with RIASA after they and Eccleshill took separate paths and he admitted it was difficult to leave the programme run by former Bantam Mark Ellis.

Jones added: “I loved it with RIASA and I loved being the manager at Eccleshill United because I was always learning. This offer came up and it was one I couldn’t turn down.

“It’s like an academy manager’s role here in England and I’m so looking forward to it and will be flying out there in a couple of weeks.

"I’ve been to the USA just once while I was with RIASA and worked with a lot of players.

“I coached, watched and learned at several events and the standard of player is high and the enthusiasm for soccer, as they refer to it, is huge.

"I also got the opportunity with them (RIASA) to go to Dutch side AZ Alkmaar, to Belgium, Norway and several other clubs in the UK.

“All of that has helped my development and made me better at what I do. I really enjoy coaching, I love it and I’m passionate about developing players.

"It’s also a two-way process because while I’m coaching them they are opening my eyes to new things. That’s just like my time as Eccy manager when every week was a learning curve.”