Monday, 22 Jul 2024

Mannie Neville: Resourcing and Talent Manager, The FA

Mannie Neville is the Resourcing and Talent Manager for The Football Association (FA). With extensive experience and knowledge in recruitment, Mannie brings his lifelong passion for football to his role at the FA, which he joined in November 2018. In a recent interview, Mannie shares insights into the importance of data in the recruitment process and discusses the FA’s new diversity code, The Football Leadership Diversity Code. Let’s dive into the details and explore what it’s like to work for one of the football industry’s largest associations.

Starting a Career in the Football Industry

Mannie’s journey into the football industry began relatively recently, but his love for the sport has been a constant throughout his life. Whether playing, supporting, or watching, Mannie believes that we are all participants in the game. His entry into the industry came when he joined the FA, an opportunity that arose due to internal movement. Mannie’s previous experience and skills aligned perfectly with the role, combining his recruitment expertise with his passion for football.

The Role of a Resourcing & Talent Manager

As the Resourcing and Talent Manager, Mannie oversees the entire recruitment process at the FA. From attracting candidates to selecting and interviewing them, his role covers all the divisions within the association. These divisions include Wembley Stadium, where a range of staff members are based, and the National Football Centre at St. George’s Park in Burton upon Trent. Mannie ensures a comprehensive and efficient recruitment process for all job opportunities at the FA.

Embracing Diversity and the FA’s Culture

The FA believes in merit-based recruitment that considers the capabilities and demands of each role. With numerous divisions within the association, the FA attracts a diverse talent pool from both within and outside the football industry. While some positions require football-specific knowledge, there are many roles where expertise from other industries can be valuable. The FA values inclusivity and seeks candidates who share their values while bringing fresh perspectives to the organization.

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Adapting to the Pandemic

Like many professionals, Mannie has been working remotely for nearly a year due to the pandemic. This situation has brought about challenges and opportunities. The FA’s previous use of video interview technology proved essential during this time, allowing the recruitment process to continue seamlessly. While communication has improved in some respects, Mannie acknowledges the challenges of building relationships through screens. As a people-oriented role, Mannie looks forward to the return of face-to-face interactions.

The Importance of Data in Resourcing

Data plays a vital role in the FA’s resourcing process. Tracking and monitoring various data points help the FA evaluate the effectiveness of their recruitment process, assess progress, and identify any challenges. Data analysis extends beyond recruitment, encompassing areas such as equality, diversity, and inclusion, website performance, and candidate and hiring manager satisfaction. Data-driven insights enable the FA to make informed decisions and drive positive change within the organization.

The Football Leadership Diversity Code

The FA recently implemented The Football Leadership Diversity Code, a project that aims to increase diversity and equality of opportunity within the football industry. The code originated from conversations between the FA’s Chief Executive, Mark Bullingham, and the Chair of the Inclusion and Advisory Board, Paul Elliott. These discussions involved players, coaches, and media representatives. The code includes recruitment pledges and targets to foster positive change and collective responsibility across all levels of the game.

Reception of the Diversity Code

Although the code is relatively new, it has received a positive response from various clubs and partners within the football industry. The commitment to improvement and accountability is evident through the significant uptake of the code. The code encourages collaboration and sharing of success stories within the industry, fostering an environment of collective progress and advancement. While change takes time, the industry’s dedication to diversity and inclusion will undoubtedly bring about positive outcomes.

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Future Developments in Resourcing and Talent Management

Talent acquisition and selection remain crucial in achieving success within the football industry. As technology continues to advance, it will play an increasingly significant role in streamlining and enhancing recruitment processes. Integration between recruitment, HR, and learning platforms will provide improved data analysis capabilities. The assessment process in football will become more sophisticated, partly influenced by initiatives such as the new diversity code. People management and performance evaluation will also be vital areas of focus, driven by ongoing conversations regarding equality, diversity, and inclusion.

Essential Skills for Success in Resourcing and Talent Management

A successful Resourcing and Talent Manager requires a broad range of expertise in recruitment. Understanding employer branding, recruitment technology, and the various responsibilities of the role are essential. Soft skills such as relationship-building, communication, and partnering with the business are equally important. Mannie highlights the significance of these skills, which contribute to his success in the role.

The FA as an Employer

Contrary to popular misconceptions, the FA is a welcoming and supportive employer. Its extensive work spans beyond the professional game and elite performance, positively impacting grassroots football and local communities. The organization values culture, mental health, wellbeing, and personal development. Mannie emphasizes the FA’s commitment to diversity and the ongoing efforts to create a more inclusive environment. As an employee, he has experienced the passion and dedication that permeate the FA, where individuals work for the love of the game and to make a genuine difference.

Advice for Aspiring Football Industry Professionals

Mannie encourages aspiring football industry professionals to explore the range of opportunities available within the game. The football industry extends beyond the elite performance side, with numerous roles supporting and making a difference in society and local communities. Mannie advises not to be deterred if football isn’t one’s favorite sport or if they lack a specific football background. The industry welcomes individuals with diverse perspectives and experiences, recognizing the value they can bring.

Future Aspirations

Mannie’s passion for people, talent, and making a difference in the game fuels his desire to continue working in his current role. He acknowledges the positive impact of diversity and aims to contribute to the ongoing evolution and progress within the FA. With several initiatives in the pipeline, Mannie looks forward to playing a part in shaping the future of the football industry.

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Q: What is Mannie Neville’s role at the FA?
A: Mannie Neville is the Resourcing and Talent Manager for The Football Association.

Q: How does the FA approach resourcing and developing talent?
A: The FA focuses on merit-based recruitment, considering the capabilities and demands of each role. They strive to attract a diverse talent pool from both within and outside the football industry.

Q: How has the pandemic affected the FA’s recruitment process?
A: The pandemic has accelerated the use of technology in the recruitment process. Remote work has presented challenges in building relationships, but the FA has adapted by utilizing video interview technology and online practices.

Q: What is The Football Leadership Diversity Code?
A: The Football Leadership Diversity Code is an initiative by the FA to increase diversity and equality of opportunity within the football industry. It involves recruitment pledges and targets to drive positive change and collective responsibility.

Q: What skills are essential for a Resourcing and Talent Manager?
A: A successful Resourcing and Talent Manager needs expertise in recruitment, understanding of employer branding and recruitment technology, and strong soft skills such as relationship-building and communication.


Mannie Neville, the Resourcing and Talent Manager for The Football Association, shares insights into his role, the FA’s recruitment process, and the importance of diversity in the football industry. Data-driven decision-making, the implementation of The Football Leadership Diversity Code, and ongoing efforts to create an inclusive environment highlight the FA’s dedication to progress. Aspiring professionals in the football industry can find a wealth of opportunities within the game, and the FA welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. With a commitment to making a difference, Mannie looks forward to continuing his work and contributing to the evolution of football. For more information, visit