Travis Binnion.

United issue Academy coaching update

Thursday 16 June 2022 16:00

Ahead of the 2022/23 season, Manchester United has announced a new coaching staff structure for the Academy’s Professional Development Phase.

The structure will increase the coaching flexibility across the Academy in order to best support the individual development of each player.

FA Youth Cup-winning coach Travis Binnion has been promoted to head of player development and coaching for the phase. Binnion will also continue in his role as Under-18s lead coach.

Mark Dempsey, senior Academy coach, will take the Under-23s team for their bespoke games programme whilst continuing to lead the core coaching teams across the whole Academy. Dempsey is a product of United’s youth system and featured twice for the first-team in the 1980s.

His coaching career has seen him manage in Norway and Sweden before returning to Manchester United as first-team coach under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Dempsey returned to the Academy in 2020, playing an invaluable role in establishing processes to maximise individual player potential.

Mark Dempsey will be assisted by Paul McShane at Under-23s level.

Paul McShane has been appointed as Professional Development Phase coach, following his retirement from the match-playing aspect of his previous role in May. He will continue to provide expert knowledge to United’s young players across the phase and support the Under-23s on a matchday.

Long-standing members of staff, Colin Little and Kevin Wolfe, will continue their excellent support of the Under-18s group.

Justin Cochrane has left the club in order to take up a new position as first-team coach at a Premier League side. The Academy thanks Justin for his service throughout his time at the club and wishes him the best of luck in his new role.

A goalkeeper coach, phase coach and playing coach for the Professional Development Phase will also be appointed. An announcement on those roles will be made in due course.

The new coaching group will work with a dedicated team of experts to build on the Academy success of last season, in which 13 graduates featured for the first-team, contributing over 25 per cent of total first-team minutes played.

Head of Academy Nick Cox said: “We are really pleased to confirm the new coaching structure for the Professional Development Phase. The increase in flexibility reflects our bespoke approach to player development, focusing on supporting individuals to reach their potential by working with each specialist coach at the optimal time.

“Travis, Mark and Paul all played a pivotal role in the Academy’s success last season, in which four graduates made their debuts and the Under-18s won the Youth Cup. They possess an outstanding set of complementary skills that will best support this group of players.

“Naturally, we are pleased that Justin has been able to fulfil his ambition of working in a first-team environment.

“I am proud of the world-class learning environment that we have created for our staff and take great satisfaction in seeing them progress both within the club or through external opportunities.

“The changes implement an ideal blend of long-standing club personnel and outstanding external appointments as we continue to appoint best-in-class staff throughout our world-leading youth development system.”