EXCLUSIVE: England Under-17s coach Cochrane joins Manchester United
Written by Simon Austin — June 8, 2021
ENGLAND Under-17s coach Justin Cochrane has been appointed Head of Player Development and Coaching at Manchester United’s Academy.
The 39-year-old, who is regarded as a rising star at the Football Association, had recently been linked with the England Under-21s job, which is expected to go instead to U20s boss Lee Carsley. Shortly after joining the FA, Cochrane was name-checked by England boss Gareth Southgate as a "really excellent young coach."
At United, Cochrane will oversee the development of the club's Professional Development Phase players (U17-U23), working closely with both Neil Wood (U23 lead) and Neil Ryan (U18s) to "maximise the potential of each individual player."
“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," Cochrane said.
"From the first conversations, I could see the depth of top-level coaching talent that is already in place at the club.
“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.
“I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone at The FA for their support over the last three years, working alongside such a dedicated group of staff is a period of my career that I will never forget.
"Working within the national team set up to develop future England internationals was an incredible experience and I wish Gareth and his staff all the best for Euro 2020."
Manchester United Academy Manager Nick Cox added: “I am delighted that Justin has joined us as we continue to build on our achievements over recent years.
"Justin brings a wealth of experience that further enhances the excellent group of staff that we have throughout the Academy. Our focus on producing world-class players capable of excelling in Manchester United’s first team remains as strong as ever.
"Justin will work with our existing pool of elite coaches to provide each of our players with experiences that will help them grow and succeed in life and play professional football at the highest level possible.”
Mark Dempsey, who was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's assistant with the first team until December, will "continue to play an integral role in providing all of our coaches with support and guidance and of course remains an invaluable link with the first-team."
Cochrane worked for Tottenham, latterly as Assistant Head of Player and Coach Development, for nine years, before joining the FA in March 2018. During his time there he worked with England's U15s and U16s before being appointed U17s coach - as well as Youth Development Phase Lead - in September 2020.
His exit means England are now without coaches for their U21s, U17s, U16s and U15s. U21s boss Aidy Boothroyd left in April following England’s disappointing performance at the Euros, while his assistant, Aaron Danks, joined Belgian side Anderlecht last month.
U16s coach Rob Edwards was appointed Forest Green Head Coach last month, with former England Lead Out-of-Possession Coach Richie Kyle as his assistant. U15s boss Lee Skyrme was appointed B team Individual Coach at Southampton in February.
ENGLAND AGE GROUP COACHES
- U21s: Vacant
- U20s: Lee Carsley
- U19s: Ian Foster
- U18s: Kevin Betsy
- U17s: Vacant
- U16s: Vacant
- U15s: Vacant