Manchester United win the race for highly regarded coach Justin Cochrane as he leaves England’s youth academy to become head of player development at Old Trafford, despite becoming frontrunner for the vacant U21 job
- Man United have won the race to appoint highly regarded coach Justin Cochrane
- The former Spurs academy boss becomes their head of youth development
- Cochrane lined up to become England U21 boss after impressing in U17 stint
- A number of clubs were interested in his services, but United stood up for him
Manchester United have given English youth coach Justin Cochrane a top job
Manchester United have sent highly regarded coach Justin Cochrane away from the FA, giving him one of the best jobs in their academy.
United will appoint Cochrane as their new head of player development and coaching, tempting him to leave the FA after three years with the England youth academy.
Cochrane was in the running for the England Under-21 job after joining the FA from Tottenham and going through their system, coaching the Under-15, 16 and then 17.
The 39-year-old was among those interviewed for the position that has been vacant since Aidy Boothroyd’s departure in April.
Cochrane had emerged as one of the contenders to replace Aidy Boothroyd (right) as U21 boss
Cochrane is well known in FA circles, with England manager Gareth Southgate tipping him as a ‘top coach’.
However, United persuaded him to return to club football and help oversee the development of their academy products in partnership with Under-23 manager Neil Wood and Under-18 head coach Neil Ryan.
Cochrane sparked interest from clubs who offered him first-team management and coaching jobs, but it is United that won the race for his services.
London-born Antigua and Barbuda international Cochrane had a 13-year playing career that started at QPR and included spells at Crewe and Rotherham.
Cochrane started his coaching career with Spurs and worked his way from the U12s to the U23s
He transferred to the FA and took charge of the U15 and U16s before moving to the U17 group
Before the FA, Cochrane held a number of coaching roles for youth teams at Spurs, from under 12 to under 23.
He has helped develop the current Spurs youth Japhet Tanganga, Oliver Skipp and Dane Scarlett.
A host of players who have blossomed after leaving Spurs, both abroad and in the EFL, such as Marcus Edwards and Noni Madueke, have also worked with Cochrane.
Cochrane further improved his reputation after the Spurs with England and attracted United’s interest.
Cochrane had a 13-year playing career, starting with QPR and finishing in the lower divisions
He will team up with U23 boss Neil Wood (left) and U18 coach Neil Ryan (right)
United’s move to Cochrane will be the last time they continue to restructure the club and their youth line-up off the pitch.
In March, United named John Murtough their director of football, Darren Fletcher, technical director, and Matt Judge rebranded as director of football negotiations with Nicky Butt, after which he resigned from his job as first-team development chief.
The Premier League runners-up have also bolstered their scouting network with Jamahl Jarrett, a recent addition as their new leading southern scout after being lured away from Crystal Palace.