Walsall announced the appointment of Miguel Llera as Academy Manager in July 2019.
The 39-year-old Spaniard, who holds a UEFA Pro, A and B Licence and a PDP Advanced Youth Award, has more than 20 years’ experience in football as a player and a coach.
The former centre-back started out in his native Spain with Recreativo B and played for Alicante, Gimnastic and Hercules before first moving to these shores with MK Dons in 2008.
Llera had stints at Charlton, Blackpool and Brentford, with his most successful spell coming at Sheffield Wednesday, where he made 95 appearances and gained promotion from League One.
He ended his playing days with Scunthorpe and took his first steps into coaching back with the Owls, spending three years in their academy with the Under-13s and 14s.
Llera’s next role in football came at Chesterfield as their Professional Developing Phase Lead Coach, helping seven players achieve professional contracts.
He led the Spireites to a first FA Derbyshire Cup triumph in 56 years and runners-up spot in the 2017/18 league season.
In 18 months at the Proact Stadium, he also held the role of first-team assistant manager and first-team coach, becoming involved with scouting and opposition team analysis.
Assistant manager at Sheffield FC in 2015/16, he has also done scouting for Wednesday, Bristol City and Fleetwood, working for Carlos Carvahal, Lee Johnson and Uwe Rosler respectively.
In January 2016, he founded the Miguel Llera International Football Academy, which currently enrols over 130 players aged 5-16.
He recently worked as a primary and secondary PE fitness coach, and is a fully qualified personal trainer with a Masters degree in sports psychology and coaching.
A captain as a player, Llera encourages youngsters to express themselves and play expansive, exciting football, with an emphasis on encouraging and educating individuals.