All good coaches know that post match analysis is a must, equally, executive leaders know that organisations should employ the same tactics. As 2018 prepares to blow its final whistle, we’re taking the opportunity to review the best year yet for Elite Performance Partners.

Over the past 12 months we’ve added experience and expertise to our board, partnered with some of the industry’s most pioneering thinkers and been involved in several of UK sport’s key placements. Let’s take a closer look at the highlights…


At the core of Elite Performance Partners’ work is senior leadership, expert practitioner and head coach recruitment so, this year we were delighted to be instructed to conduct some very important searches for both clubs and governing bodies alike – with one very notable appointment kicking off our year.

In January, we were able to reveal our involvement in the selection of Pippa Grange as Head of People and Development for the FA. Pippa has been celebrated for the role she went on to play in the success of the England team during this summer’s World Cup, showing what can be achieved when a team is brave and has a strong identity. The fans saw that and reconnected with them in a way that hasn’t been seen for many years. That didn’t happen by chance and the people behind the scenes deserve a great deal of credit.

We believe in not only finding the right person for the job as we know that there’s more to the recruitment process in the sports sector so, our service is constantly evolving to ensure it encompasses the bigger picture. You can read more about our other 2018 placements, including more at the FA – Kate Baker and Bryce Cavanagh, on our blog.


Part of that bigger picture is a deep understanding of the pillars of high performing teams. That includes knowing what makes a great leader, which traits are most valuable in head coaches and which challenges the sector and its top performers must tackle. Throughout 2018 we used our platform to demonstrate our own knowledge and understanding of what best practice looks like.

In this sporting age, where there’s an appetite for more profound insights, we shared our thoughts on some of the industry’s current hottest topics, including –

The Weakness That’s Damaging Performance Experts
Four Challenges Faced by Sports Team Owners
Common Features of Top-Level Coaches

Most recently we also discussed why humour shouldn’t be underrated when recruiting Head Coaches. Read that here.

Additionally, we enjoyed some great guest blogs by High Performance Expert, Harvey Hillary, and former Leicester Tiger’s star, Matt Smith. But they weren’t the only guests…

In October, our Managing Director, David Slemen, was himself invited to guest contribute to the Training Ground Guru website. Read his article – Five Key Roles for High Performing Teams.


In addition to the written word in 2018, David was also able to share his insights in person. Here are some notable moments.

In April, the Leaders Performance Institute hosted a Virtual Roundtable event on the subject of ‘People Development in Sport’. David took part and joined an esteemed panel that was made up of respected leaders and coaches working for organisations at the top of football, swimming, cricket and rugby.Then in May, we hosted the third and final part of our Leadership Forum series hosted in partnership with Miramar Global Executive Search. The exclusive event focused on leadership, high performance and the importance of culture. We were lucky to be joined by Owen Eastwood, a world-leading performance culture expert and acclaimed former South African fast bowler, Morne Morkel.

May also saw David join Jenny Monckton – also of Elite Performance Partners, for two days at the University of Salford to deliver their own recruitment masterclass as part of the VSI MSc in Sport Directorship. After leading the lecture, David described the student’s passion and enthusiasm as “infectious”, highlighting that hosting the masterclass actually gave him greater understanding of the topics he discussed.

More events like these continued throughout the year with each allowing us to demonstrate our unique position when it comes to leadership in sport.

High Performing Partners 

Of course, we couldn’t do the work that we do without the knowledge and direction of our esteemed board of which we added to not once but twice this year.

In April we announced that Simon Halliday joined us as Non-Executive Director and Rugby Advisor. Simon, a former international rugby player who won two Grand Slams and a member of the England squad that reached the World Cup final in 1991, has proved invaluable since taking on his role with us. He says,

“I have a passion for business and sport bringing the best out of each other. Recruiting well in sport is critical and much-needed. Elite Performance Partners are employing a model which I admire and is very differentiated from the run-of-the mill recruitment consultancy business. I am proud to be involved and look forward to helping in their long-term success.” 

Similarly, back in May, we announced that Andrew Billingham was also joining us as a Non-Exec Director.

As an accomplished sports director, Andrew brought to EPP, 27 years of experience in the sector. He is a former Senior Executive at Stoke City, Birmingham City and has also worked for sports brands like Adidas and more recently as CEO of Bristol Sport so, naturally has become a key player for us.

Our board enables our high-level delivery and enhanced insights. If you’d like to know even more then further information is available on our website.

Extra Time
A meeting between performance consultantsYou might think that it’s all over but there’s one last thing we’d like to reflect on for this year.
In 2018 we announced our new partnership with leading football consultancy firm 21st Cluband revealed how our sharing of resources and expertise was allowing our clients access to analytical intelligence to deliver a holistic, evidence-based approach to their head coach recruitment.The aim of our partnership with 21st Club is to help clubs better identify and assess leading candidates from the widest talent pool. It puts in place a robust and objective process combining 21st Club’s strategic and analytical intelligence with EPP’s structured approach to character assessment within the performance environment.We’ve had a great season so far and we’re looking forward to working more with 21st Club.