Man United to appoint Justin Cochrane as head of player development

Manchester United win the race for highly-rated coach Justin Cochrane, as he leaves the England youth set-up to become head of player development at Old Trafford despite emerging as a front-runner for the vacant under-21 job

  • Man United have won the race to appoint highly-rated coach Justin Cochrane 
  • The former Spurs academy boss is set to be their head of youth development 
  • Cochrane was in line to be England U21 boss after impressing in stint with U17s
  • A number of clubs were interest in his services but United pounced for him 

Manchester United have prised highly-rated coach Justin Cochrane away from the FA and handed him one of the top jobs in their academy.

United will appoint Cochrane as their new head of player development and coaching, tempting him away from the FA after three years in the England youth setup.

Cochrane had been in the running for the England under-21 job having joined the FA from Tottenham and progressed through their system, coaching the under-15s, 16s and then 17s.

Manchester United have handed England youth coach Justin Cochrane a top academy job

The 39 year-old was among those interviewed for the position that has been vacant since Aidy Boothroyd’s departure in April.

Cochrane is well thought of within FA circles with England manager Gareth Southgate tipping him to be a ‘top coach.’

However, United have persuaded him to return to club football and help oversee the development of their academy products working in conjunction with under-23 manager Neil Wood and under-18 head coach Neil Ryan.

Cochrane was attracting interest from clubs offering him first-team management and coaching jobs but it is United who have won the race for his services.

Cochrane began his coaching career at Spurs, working his way from the U12s to the U23s

He moved to the FA and took charge of the U15 and U16s before moving up to the U17 group

London-born Antigua and Barbuda international Cochrane had a 13-year playing career which began at QPR and included spells at Crewe and Rotherham.

Before the FA, Cochrane performed a number of youth team coaching roles at Spurs from their under-12s up to the under-23s.

He has helped develop the likes of current Spurs youngsters Japhet Tanganga, Oliver Skipp and Dane Scarlett.

A host of players who have flourished after leaving Spurs, both abroad and in the EFL, such as Marcus Edwards and Noni Madueke have also worked with Cochrane.

Cochrane further enhanced his reputation after Spurs with England, attracting the interest of United.


He will work in conjunction with U23 boss Neil Wood (L) and U18 coach Neil Ryan (R)

United’s move for Cochrane is their latest as they continue their off-the-field restructuring of the club and their youth setup.

In March, United named John Murtough their football director, Darren Fletcher technical director and gave Matt Judge the new title of director of football negotiations with Nicky Butt subsequently leaving his job as head of first-team development.

The Premier League runners-up have also been bolstering their scouting network with Jamahl Jarrett a recent addition as their new lead southern scout after being lured away from Crystal Palace.




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