Gareth Southgate has been appointed as new England Under-21 Head Coach
The FA has appointed Gareth Southgate as the new Head Coach of the England Under-21 team.
Southgate has signed a three-year contract with The FA and will begin work immediately ahead of the England Under-21 team’s September qualifiers.
Reporting to The FA’s Director of Elite Development Dan Ashworth and working closely with Managing Director of Club England Adrian Bevington, Southgate will also oversee the coaches with responsibility for the U20s through to the U16s.
Southgate said: “I’m delighted to get this role and extremely excited about the prospect of working with the best and brightest young players in the country.
“I'm a proud Englishman and playing for my country was the pinnacle of my playing career. Since retiring as a player I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience of the game both here and abroad, and I'm eager to play my part in preparing players to compete at the highest level.
"Whenever any team steps onto the pitch for England, being successful is of huge importance, but it is also about developing a clear style of play that can allow our talented young players to flourish.”
Ashworth said: “I look forward to working with Gareth. He came through a comprehensive and thorough interview process, showing a real understanding of our need to ensure a consistency in the style of play across the England development teams at every level.
“Gareth shares our belief that now is an important moment for English football. It is the time for change and his ideas and experience will be crucial to the direction we wish to take the development teams in the future."
Southgate will also be responsible for supporting The FA’s contribution to EPPP (Elite Player Performance Plan) through regular club visits and developing The FA’s tournament strategy along with staff from the Elite Development Unit and Club England.
The role will be predominantly based at St. George’s Park but Southgate will also work out of Wembley Stadium on a frequent basis. Attending development team tournaments and fixtures will be a feature of Southgate’s work.
England Manager Roy Hodgson said: "I know Gareth well and he has the right philosophy and approach to football, and I'm very much looking forward to working with him.
"Having taken the Under-21s earlier this month I'm aware of the talent that exists within the group, so it is a great opportunity looking ahead to the tournament in two years time."
Southgate played 57 times for England, most notably appearing at Euro ’96 on home soil and would also represent England at the World Cup in France ’98 and European Championship in Holland and Belgium two years later.
His playing career began at Crystal Palace, and he distinguished himself as an elegant defender for both Aston Villa and Middlesbrough, where his managerial career began in 2006, taking charge of the Teesside club for three years.
Southgate previously worked for The FA as Head of Elite Development between February 2011 and July 2012, contributing to the Youth Development Review, with particular focus on changes in kids' football, and also supporting coaching strategies in the build up to St. George’s Park opening.
Southgate was also part of the coaching staff with the England squad at the FIFA U20 World Cup in Colombia in 2011.
As well as his media work with ITV in recent years, Southgate has also been a key part of the UEFA Technical Study group.
England Under-21s ran out 6-0 winners over Scotland in their most recent game, under the temporary control of Roy Hodgson and Ray Lewington.
In front of 26,942 fans at Bramall Lane, it was a strong start to a new campaign and Southgate will be looking to continue that when qualification begins next month for the 2015 European Under-21 Championship in the Czech Republic.
The squad begins its qualifying campaign in September with fixtures against Moldova at Reading’s Madejski Stadium on Thursday 5 September, and Finland away four days later.
Tickets for the Moldova fixture are available by clicking here.