EXCLUSIVE: Coton returns to Man Utd as Chief Goalkeeping Scout

Tony Coton worked with Sir Alex Ferguson for a decade

Tony Coton worked with Sir Alex Ferguson for a decade

FORMER Manchester United player and coach Tony Coton has returned to the club after 12 years to become Chief Goalkeeping Scout.

The 59-year-old was back-up to Peter Schmeichel at Old Trafford for six months in 1996, although he never made a first-team appearance, before joining Sunderland. After a serious leg break ended his playing career, Coton was appointed goalkeeper coach by United in 1997.

He remained in the role for a decade, during which time the club won the Treble and six Premier League titles, before a serious knee injury forced him to step down in 2008.

After that, the former Manchester City keeper moved into scouting and recruitment and has an impressive list of roles on his CV. He served as chief scout at Wigan, goalkeeper scout and Head of UK Recruitment at Aston Villa and Head of Recruitment at Sunderland.

In January, United advertised on TGG for three roles for a “newly-created, industry-leading” Goalkeeper Scouting Team, although the recruitment process was subsequently delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Specialist goalkeeper scouts are still a rarity and Coton is one of the few to have held the position, when he worked under Tim Sherwood at Villa.

United have appointed another highly-experienced keeper coach to the Goalkeeper Scouting Team, with Tony Parks joining as Academy Goalkeeper Scout.

The 57-year-old has previously been a goalkeeper coach for England (16s to 21s), Aston Villa, Norwich and Tottenham. At United he will be responsible for “accurately assessing and refining the identified goalkeepers of interest aged 12 to 17.”

A third role - Goalkeeping Recruitment Analyst - was also advertised as part of the Team in January, although TGG is not aware of an appointment.

All three roles will be based at United’s Aon Training Complex, although there will also be a large element of travelling and home working for the scouts.

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