Manchester United have announced the appointment of Justin Cochrane as head of player development and coaching for their academy.
Cochrane joins from the Football Association, where he was youth development phase lead and England Under-17s coach. The former Antigua and Barbuda international, whose playing career started with QPR and featured spells with Crewe, Rotherham and Millwall, spent nine seasons coaching through Tottenham’s academy system before joining the FA in 2018.
He took charge of England’s Under-15s, Under-16s and then Under-17s, and recently spent time with AFC Wimbledon as first-team coach.
Cochrane said in quotes on United’s official website: “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.
“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.”
United head of academy Nick Cox said: “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.”
Murtough welcomes new appointment
United football director John Murtough said: “Developing young players is fundamental to who we are as a club and its importance to us can never be understated.
“We welcome Justin’s appointment as part of our plan to bring the best external coaching talent to complement our existing group and further strengthen the work we are doing across the academy.”
United said Cochrane will oversee the development of the club’s players from under-17 to under-23, “working closely with both Neil Wood and Neil Ryan to maximise the potential of each individual player”.
Mark Dempsey is to continue in his role as senior academy coach to oversee the coaching team across the academy.
In March, United announced Nicky Butt was to step down as head of first-team development and leave the club after nine years in coaching and player development roles with their academy.