Southampton appoint new U21 & U18 Head Coaches

Adam Asghar (left) has been appointed U21s Head Coach, with Calum McFarlane (right) taking over the U18s

Adam Asghar (left) has been appointed U21s Head Coach, with Calum McFarlane (right) taking over the U18s

SOUTHAMPTON have appointed new Under-21 and U18 coaches as part of a major revamp of roles in their Academy.

Adam Asghar has arrived from Sunderland, where he was U18s Lead for the last year, to take over the U21s, while Calum McFarlane has joined from Manchester City, where he was U15s Lead, to become U18s Lead.

Elsewhere, Ricky King will join on October 1st as Head of Coaching and Jack Chapman is now in place as Head of Academy Recruitment, as TGG has previously reported on the Bulletin Board. Both arrive from Swansea City (where King was U18s Head Coach and Chapman was Head of Academy Recruitment), where they worked with Andy Goldie, who was appointed Southampton Academy Manager in the summer.

Southampton have not had the role of Head of Coaching since 2019, when they split it in two (Coach and Player Development Manager plus Head of Coach Development). Then, in 2022, Iain Brunnschweiler took on many of the duties as Head of Technical Development.

Like King and Chapman, Asghar has worked with Goldie previously, this time at Dundee United. Goldie headed up the youth section for the Scottish club from 2019 to 2022, while Asghar was Head of the Professional Development Phase and then First Team Coach.

The UEFA A License holder led Sunderland to runners-up spot in the Northern Section of the U18s Premier League last season. At Southampton he replaces Dave Horseman, who left in the summer to become Head Coach of Forest Green Rovers.

Horseman was Head Coach of the B Team after Southampton rebranded the U21s under former Director of Football Matt Crocker. He wanted the side to have the same style of play, training methods and coaching as the first team, all based on the Southampton Playbook.

Training sessions were also organised so as not to clash with the first team, while matches were played at AFC Totton, to get “regular experience of a stadium environment”. However, as TGG has reported, the new leadership, led by Director of Football Jason Wilcox and Academy Manager Goldie, have reverted back to the traditional title of U21s.

They have also dropped the model of Game Coach and Individual Coach, with the former focused on match preparation and the latter leading on the longer-term development of individual players.

McFarlane joined Manchester City in 2020 from the Kinetic Academy as U18s Assistant and subsequently took charge of the U15s. Southampton Director of Football Jason Wilcox was City's Academy Manager at the time, before moving to Saints this summer.

McFarlane fills a gap left by Mikey Harris, who left his role as Southampton's U18s Game Coach in February this year to become an U21s coach at Brighton.

Meanwhile, there have been a number of departures in Southampton's Academy:

  • Danny Maye: U16s Game Coach who had been with the club for more than 10 years has left to become U18s Lead at Derby County. The move reunites him with former Southampton Academy Manager Matt Hale, who now heads up the youth programme for the Rams.
  • Gary McDermott: Pre-Scholar Phase Game Coach, who had been with Saints for nine-and-a-half years, has joined Forest Green Rovers as U18s Head Coach. The move reunites him with Horseman, who is now their Head Coach.
  • Jamie Hawthorne: U12s Game Coach who had been with Saints since an internship in September 2019, has now joined Manchester City Academy.

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