Carsley appointed England U21s coach, with Cole as assistant

Carsley first worked for England Football in 2015

Carsley first worked for England Football in 2015

LEE CARSLEY has been appointed as Head Coach of England’s Under-21s, with Ashley Cole as his assistant.

Carsley steps up from the U20s and was appointed “after a comprehensive recruitment process”, the Football Association said.

He replaces Aidy Boothroyd, who left the FA after seven years earlier this summer. In addition to his new role, Cole will continue to coach at Chelsea’s Academy, where he has worked since October 2019.

Carsley’s connection to England Football goes back to 2015, when he was appointed as U19s lead. After that he coached at the Academies of former clubs Manchester City and Birmingham City, before returning to The FA as specialist coach with the U21s in August 2018.

“I see it as a massive honour and achievement to coach the U21s,” said the former Republic of Ireland midfielder. “It is a really prestigious position with a lot of responsibility as has been proven by the calibre of predecessors in this role.

"We have a great opportunity to help the senior side by developing the best young talent in this country while combining that with the aim of being successful at U21 level.

“I will have a great team around me. Ashley is a brilliant addition to the staff and we will also have Tim Dittmer as goalkeeping coach, with all of his experience of the game.

"I've been on courses with Ashley during lockdown and been impressed. He is committed to coaching and player development so a lot of our thoughts are aligned.”

Cole, who won 107 caps for England, said: “I'm really happy to get this opportunity to support Lee and work with the best youngsters in the country.

"I loved playing for the national team and to now get the chance to work as an England coach is a special feeling. St George’s Park is an amazing place and I can’t wait to get started. I want to do my best to help young players to develop, and also learn from some brilliant people at the same time.”

FA Technical Director John McDermott added: “I'm very happy to be able to confirm Lee’s appointment, and to be able to bring in someone of Ashley’s stature as his number two, with thanks to Chelsea for their support.

"It was a very competitive recruitment process and the calibre of people that put themselves forward underlines the importance of the U21 set-up.

“Leading this age-group is a unique challenge as the obvious aim is to win matches and do well at final tournaments, but there's also a clear requirement to support Gareth Southgate and the seniors.

"Lee has a wonderful knowledge of age-group football and will also be able to put his strong club relationships to good use. We should never forget the duty of care we have as we work to support the development of our brightest emerging players and I know Lee and Ashley will get that right.”

The U21s kick-off the new season with a trip to Bucharest to face Romania on September 3rd.


  • U21s: Lee Carsley, assistant Ashley Cole
  • U20s: Vacant
  • U19s: Ian Foster
  • U18s: Kevin Betsy
  • U17s: Vacant
  • U16s: Vacant
  • U15s: Vacant

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