FA strengthens development staff with new appointments

Thursday 21 Apr 2016
Head of development team coaching Matt Crocker

The FA has appointed a number of specialist coaches to work alongside the England men’s development teams.

Based at St. George’s Park, these six key roles will support the national coaches at every level from men’s under-15s to men’s under-21s, working as valuable members of the various teams’ coaching staff. 

Colin Cooper joins The FA working as part of Gareth Southgate’s U21 coaching setup. Having worked alongside Southgate in 2009 at Middlesbrough, he has since enjoyed spells as caretaker manager of Bradford City and as manager of Hartlepool United between 2013 and 2014.

Mark Robson, a former first-team coach at Aston Villa, has also joined and will work as part of the coaching team for the U20s. Robson has enjoyed a ten year career as a coach to date, with stints at Charlton Athletic, Peterborough United, Gillingham, Barnet and Norwich as well as working with England U17s alongside John Peacock in 2013.

Lee Carsley will join The FA and work with Aidy Boothroyd’s U19 coaching team. After a distinguished playing career for club and country spanning 17 years, Carsley has enjoyed different coaching roles working at Coventry City and Brentford.

Aaron Danks has spent over six years working in West Bromwich Albion’s academy in a number of roles within youth development, most recently as U18s head coach. Previous to that he has worked at Birmingham City as an academy coach.

Mike Marsh, who has formerly worked with the England U17s, will once again work alongside head coach Steve Cooper. The former Liverpool assistant manager joins The FA on a permanent basis from his role at Huddersfield Town.

Lee Skyrme will join The FA to work with the men’s U16 side. He has previously been at Exeter City where he has spent three years as their U18s head coach, having also enjoyed a stint at Cardiff City.

The division has also boosted its ranks with two experienced goalkeeping coaches joining the development teams’ coaching staff. Richard Hartis and Jack Robinson will join the organisation from Leeds United and Manchester United, respectively. Hartis will work predominately with the U18 to U20 goalkeepers, while Robinson will work closely with the U15 to U17 age groups.

Head of development team coaching Matt Crocker said: “I’m delighted to announce these new appointments. Each and every one of them has a wealth of experience not just in terms of their coaching, but valuable knowledge of working with younger players in an established youth development set up at club level. I’m also really pleased to have been able to get two fantastic goalkeeping coaches join our ranks.

“These specialist coaching roles have been designed to help us maximise the time on the pitch we have with the players for the International stage. It will really enable us to have a greater focus on particular areas of preparation and ensure we are developing the style of play we want to see from our development teams, as part of the England DNA.

“It’s been fantastic to see our teams enjoying success over recent weeks in qualifying for their respective international tournaments. Helping the players develop and progress through the England pathway, as well as achieve tournament success is a critical part of our work. Bringing in the calibre of the coaches that we have can only help us to produce winning England teams in the future.”

It has been a positive few weeks for England’s men’s development teams, who have been in great form in recent weeks. Both the U17s and U19s qualified for their respective European Championships and Neil Dewsnip’s U18s side enjoyed two victories in their recent double header during international period. Meanwhile, Gareth Southgate’s U21 side remain unbeaten in their Euro qualifiers.

The recruitment of the specialist coaches to support the England teams, follows on from this week’s announcement of key new strategic roles within The FA’s sport medicine setup. This recruitment drive within The FA’s technical division will continue with other specialist coaching roles due to be recruited, as well as key roles within The FA Education Division.

By FA Staff