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Manchester United issue academy coaching update after departures

by Colm Murphy

Manchester United have issued a major coaching update in the academy after the departure of Justin Cochrane to join Brentford’s first team staff.

Cochrane’s departure follows that of u23s managing pair Neil Wood and Neil Ryan.

Travis Binnion has been promoted to take over from Cochrane as head of player development and coaching while retaining his role as u18s lead coach.

The club believes “the structure will increase the coaching flexibility across the Academy in order to best support the individual development of each player.”

Mark Dempsey, who was among Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s first team staff, has been appointed in charge of the u23s and will also continue “to lead the core coaching teams across the whole Academy.”

Further changes include Paul McShane moving into a full time coaching role after his retirement from playing.

A new player coach is expected to join the u23s replace McShane’s previous position, an innovative role implemented under Cochrane.

It is unknown as of yet how big of an impact Cochrane’s departure will have but he was a key figure in the structure and brought through a lot of innovative ideas in the last year which resulted in United winning the FA Youth Cup for the first time in over 10 years.

These included using his connections to develop a work experience program for academy players to train with EFL clubs.

Head of Academy, Nick Cox, remains optimistic though as he believes “the increase in flexibility reflects our bespoke approach to player development, focusing on supporting individuals to reach their potential by working with each specialist coach at the optimal time.”

A number of additional appointments are still to be expected, including a goalkeeper coach and a phase coach which Cox says will produce “an ideal blend of long-standing club personnel and outstanding external appointments as we continue to appoint best-in-class staff throughout our world-leading youth development system.”

Cox also added the club’s best wishes to Cochrane stating “naturally, we are pleased that Justin has been able to fulfil his ambition of working in a first-team environment.”

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