June 12, 2021

Man Utd raid England coaching set up to land new secret weapon to develop youth

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Manchester United have looked to the England set up to land a new secret weapon who will develop their youth sides.

The Red Devils new head of player development and coaching is 39-year-old Justin Cochrane who most recently worked with England’s under-17s as lead coach and youth development phase lead.

The ex-Rotherham United and Queens Park Rangers player had been tipped to replace Aidy Boothroyd as England Under-21 manager before the Old Trafford hierarchy swooped in.

Cochrane joins the United backroom staff having spent nine years in the Tottenham academy system before joining the FA in 2018. He will oversee Man Utd’s under-17 to under-23 academy teams.

Justin Cochrane has been appointed head of player development and coaching at Manchester United's academy
Justin Cochrane has been appointed head of player development and coaching at Manchester United’s academy
(Image: Manchester United FC)

Cochrane mentioned the set up at Carrington as a leading factor in making the switch from England:

“Joining such a world-renowned Academy system is an extremely proud moment and I cannot wait to get started in this new and exciting role,” said Cochrane speaking to the Man Utd media department.

“From the first conversations, I could see the depth of top-level coaching talent that is already in place at the club.

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United youngster Anthony Elanga celebrates scoring his first goal for the club against Wolves in the Premier League
United youngster Anthony Elanga celebrates scoring his first goal for the club against Wolves in the Premier League

“I look forward to working with each of them to provide the right environment for our players to thrive and to continue the phenomenal record of developing players for Manchester United’s first-team.”

Last season Man Utd academy graduates contributed to over 25 percent of the game-time for first team players, in a campaign where five made their debuts under boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Like the United gaffer, Cochrane also holds a UEFA Pro Licence.

The former Antigua and Barbuda international was part of the management set up at AFC Wimbledon towards the back end of the campaign, where he helped steer the Dons away from relegation.

As part of Mark Robinson's backroom staff, Cochrane helped lead AFC Wimbledon to League One safety
As part of Mark Robinson’s backroom staff, Cochrane helped lead AFC Wimbledon to League One safety
(Image: Getty Images)

After his appointment in February, Wimbledon had an upturn in form.

They lost just once in their final eight matches of the League One season.

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