Manchester United appoint Justin Cochrane as the Academy’s head of player development and coaching
The highly-rated coach joins from The FA, where he served as the Youth Development Phase Lead as well as England Under-17s head coach. He will now oversee the development of Manchester United’s Professional Development Phase players (U17-U23).
The 39-year-old was among those interviewed for the position left vacant since Aidy Boothroyd’s departure in April. Cochrane will work closely with both Neil Wood and Neil Ryan to maximise the potential of each individual player.
Securing Cochrane is somewhat of a coup for United. He was in the running for the England Under-21 job having joined the FA from Tottenham. He spent a number of years in North London, coaching Tottenham’s Under-15s, U-16s and then U-17s.
Justin’s playing career saw him play for the clubs in the Football League, including Crewe Alexandra and Rotherham United. He also made international appearances with Antigua and Barbuda.
His coaching journey began at just 17 when he created a local team whilst playing for Queens Park Rangers. While playing in the National League, Cochrane began to complete his coaching badges and then joined Tottenham Hotspur, where he spent nine seasons coaching in the academy system.
An impressive CV
He was eventually promoted to the position of Assistant Head of Player and Coach Development while also working with the Under-23 side.
He joined the FA in 2018 and subsequently completed his UEFA Pro Licence whilst taking charge of England’s Under-15s, before progressing as head coach of the Under-16s and then Under-17s.
Cochrane also spent time with AFC Wimbledon as the first-team coach, helping the club to secure their League One status in the second half of the 2020/21 campaign.
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Cochrane is well thought of within FA circles, with England manager Gareth Southgate also a fan.
The 38-year-old was attracting interest from a number of clubs ready to offer him first-team management and coaching opportunities. However, it is United who have won the race for his services.
Hopefully, he will ensure the talented youth in our system reach their full potential and one day make the cut for the senior side.
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