New college director moves from football to finance

Following an illustrious career playing for a number of top-flight clubs, ex-footballer Andy Comyn has joined Dudley College as its new Vice Principal Financial Strategy and Control, bringing a wealth of financial expertise and experience as a college governor to the organisation’s executive management team.

With the further education (FE) sector going through a significant period of change, the college has to adapt to help it flourish in the years ahead.  As such, Andy’s role will not only focus on maintaining the core financial stability of the college, but will also have an increasing commercial focus through  supporting the ongoing development of the Learning Quarter and maximising the profitable growth from income that the college is successfully developing from alternative revenue streams, such as its international work.

From an early age Andy played football for Blackburn Rovers and then Manchester United whilst at school, and continued playing for Manchester United during his time at Birmingham University where he studied Physics. After completing his degree, his professional football career continued with Aston Villa, Derby County, Plymouth Argyle and West Bromwich Albion.

Knowing his football career wouldn’t last forever, Andy’s interest in finance led him to study book-keeping at a Birmingham FE college during his playing days. It was whilst Andy was considering a new contract offer from West Brom that the Hednesford Town manager called and offered him the opportunity to begin to qualify as an accountant at his Walsall-based practice whilst playing for the club.  The allure of accountancy was just too great for Andy, as he knew he could be on a long-term career winner.

And so it proved, as over a number of years and with positions at prominent accountancy practices, the transition from football to accountancy was completed, with Andy gaining his Association of Chartered Certified Accountants qualification.  Andy is now a designated Fellow of this organisation (FCCA).

In addition to his career in finance, a five- year spell as a governor at Halesowen College gave him an insight into the world of further education and an understanding of the sector, its finances and the important part colleges play in developing an individual’s skills and learning.

Having now settled in at Dudley College, Andy said, “It’s great to be here and part of such an ambitious, dynamic forward-thinking organisation.  I’ve already seen how committed and passionate the staff are at the college and I’m delighted to be part of such a strong team with such high aspirations for the future of the college. ”

“The FE sector is currently facing some financial challenges, but despite this the college is continuing to invest to help enhance the student experience. I’m very enthusiastic to play an active role in continuing to build on the college’s strong foundations and maximising our future opportunities, with the addition of the new construction centre and 3G football pitch being just two of the exciting projects currently being planned.”

Andy takes over from Gary Turton, Executive Director of Finance who left the college in July after 7 years. Gary played a pivotal role in the development of the Dudley Learning Quarter.