Manchester United have announced Kieran McKenna as our new U18s manager.
McKenna is widely considered one of the best U18s managers in England having had some very successful years at Tottenham Hotspur and the importance of his appointment can’t be underestimated.
Paul McGuinness left Man United in February and it’s taken this long for Nicky Butt to find his replacement but the search is now finally over.
Speaking about his appointment, McKenna said: “It’s been excellent.
“I’ve been here about a week now, getting to know the staff, the players and everyone in the building. Everyone has been very welcoming and it helps that I knew quite a few of the staff already and had a good relationship with some of the people here.
“I feel I’ve slotted in very quickly and the work with the boys on the grass has all gone extremely well so it’s been very smooth so far.
“I was involved with Tottenham since a 14-year-old lad coming across from Ireland to train with the youth team there,” he added. “I was full time since 16 and had seven fantastic years as a player. Obviously, the last couple were heavily disrupted by injury and I finished my playing career at 23 years old.
“I learned a lot and Tottenham have had a lot of success with Academy and I’m sure they will continue to do so now. To go to Manchester United, there is no bigger move you can make, it’s another fantastic Academy and it’s a dream come true really. I was a massive United fan, my dad brought me over to my first game in the 1994 season to see them lift the Premier League trophy.”
I’m not really sure why it took United seven months to replace McGuinness after he was let go but at least its now done and we can start putting some building blocks down for our U18s again.
McKenna’s era began on Saturday with a convincing 5-1 win over Middlesbrough and I’m very much excited to see how he can help our next crop of youngsters develop because it is a squad that’s littered with talent.
The likes of Angel Gomes, DJ Buffonge, Indy Boonen and Callum Gribbin are all playing at that level and with ten goals in our last two games things are certainly looking good for the youngsters at the moment.
Credit needs to go to Butt in luring McKenna away from a Tottenham Hotspur academy which is one of the best in England right now because United are now in a strong position after an uncertain year with our U18s. Here’s hoping McKenna can go on to have plenty of success with us in Manchester.