By Craig Scott

28th Sep, 2021 | 7:10am

James So leaves Leeds United academy coaching role

Leeds United academy coach James So has left his role as physical development coach, it has been confirmed.

So worked with players aged between nine and 16, delivering the academy physical development programme for players through “gym-based programmes, on-field conditioning, and physical profiling and monitoring in line with the EPPP requirements” [Linkedin].

In a tweet, he’s confirmed he’s now left his role at Thorp Arch after joining the club in March 2020.

“Last Friday, I finished at Leeds United Academy yesterday,” said So via his personal Twitter account on Monday.

“Thank you to everyone who made this year and a half a special part of my life.

“In the good times and the tough times this year, it has been an amazing experience. Leeds, you’ll always have my heart.”

All the best, James

So hasn’t spent long at Thorp Arch but he’s definitely played a vital role in the development of a lot of young players in Leeds’ academy.

Their physical development is one of the most important aspects of growing as a footballer, especially now we live in world where football is dominated by data and analytics.

Marcelo Bielsa is a manager who loves to crunch numbers and he’s also a manager who demands peak physical status from his players.

While it’s unlikely that those aged too young will be playing for Bielsa in the future, those who are at the older end of So’s group of players do stand a chance of impressing the Argentinean manager.

It remains to be seen how So’s work has impacted the youngsters at Thorp Arch but as we have one of the best bunch of young players in the country, we’d also imagine we have one of the best groups of staff.

In other Leeds United news, it has been suggested Bielsa may quit Elland Road amid interest from a major club in Europe.