Academy staff profiles
Meet some of the key staff working at the Manchester United Academy. It's a team effort behind the scenes at Carrington and beyond but here are some of the leading individuals who help shape the Reds of the future...
After three years with United, he was promoted to the Head of Academy role in 2019.He worked with Watford's youngsters for 12 seasons before linking up with Sheffield United and further enhancing his reputation within the youth game.
The role covers the overseeing of the entire development programme, which begins with the Under-9s.
SENIOR ACADEMY COACH: MARK DEMPSEY
A former United youth product, he played in the first team in 1986 before enjoying a successful career with clubs such as Sheffield United, Rotherham United and Macclesfield Town.
After working with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Molde and Cardiff City, he accepted the call to make an emotional return to his boyhood club when the Norwegian took over the reins at Old Trafford.
Mark's current role is to lead the core coaching team across the Academy, working to educate and mentor the club's development coaches and establishing individualised plans to maximise player potential.
HEAD OF PLAYER DEVELOPMENT AND COACHING (U17-U23): JUSTIN COCHRANE
Arriving from the Football Association, where he was Under-17s England coach, he joined the club in 2021 to take on the new role of Head of player development and coaching.
Formerly a midfielder with the likes of Crewe Alexandra and Rotherham United in his playing days, the Londoner represented Antigua and Barbuda at international level.
Working closely with individuals to develop their talents, Justin also has experience of working as a youth coach at Tottenham Hotspur.
UNDER-23S LEAD COACH: NEIL WOOD
Neil was a homegrown youth product at United and captained the Reserves team during Sir Alex Ferguson's era.
Unfortunately, injuries curtailed his progress but he had spells with Burnley, Coventry City and Blackpool, among others, before a short stint in Bosnia with FK Zeljeznicar.
The Stretford-born United fan rejoined the Reds and took over as lead coach of the Under-23s in 2019. He is also taking charge of the UEFA Youth League side in 2021/22.
Son of former United player and coach Jim, Neil was born into a footballing family.
He was Under-16s coach before moving up an age group to the Under-18s in the summer of 2018, following Kieran McKenna's promotion to senior duties.
As a player, he started out at Luton Town and enjoyed a few years out in the United States before returning to England to join Altrincham.
In the summer of 2021, he moved up an age group to assist Neil Wood with the Premier League 2 side.
UNDER-18S LEAD COACH AND HEAD OF PLAYER DEVELOPMENT (U14-16): TRAVIS BINNION
Formerly Under-16s lead coach, Travis took on the Under-18s role in 2021 as part of an increasingly flexible coaching structure.
He is also continuing as head of player development and coaching for the U14s-U16s and working with many youngsters already familiar to him, who are stepping up in age group.
As Academy manager at Sheffield United, he worked with current United captain Harry Maguire and a number of current international players.
UNDER-18S ASSISTANT COACH: COLIN LITTLE
Colin joined United in 2009, working with the younger-age groups and is a key part of the backroom coaching team at Academy level.
He has provided specialist striking work for the likes of Marcus Rashford after being a forward in his playing days.
The Wythenshawe-born coach represented clubs such as Crewe Alexandra, Macclesfield Town and Altrincham during a lengthy career.
PLAYING COACH: PAUL McSHANE
One of three former Reds to make a return to the club in 2021, alongside Tom Heaton and Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul's position is an innovative one as he will primarily assist with coaching the Under-23s but also play in certain fixtures to pass on his vast experience on the field.
The defender played 33 times for Republic of Ireland and has had a great career since initially leaving Old Trafford.
Paul can list Brighton & Hove Albion, West Brom, Sunderland, Hull City and Reading on his footballing CV and was most recently at Rochdale before switching the chief focus to coaching.
HEAD OF PLAYER DEVELOPMENT AND COACHING U9-U13: EAMON MULVEY
After his professional football career was cut short due to injury, the Manchester-born United supporter joined as Academy coach in 2002 before being promoted to full-time skills coach in the following year.
This role developed to the Head of the Foundation phase before taking over as Head of player and development and coaching for the Under-9s to Under-13s.
As part of the Academy management team, Eamon is able to help the club continue produce players during the early stages of their exciting journey, many of whom end up having careers in the first team or elsewhere in the game, which he admits is extremely rewarding.
ACADEMY HEADS OF DEPARTMENT
Head of Academy: Nick Cox
Academy programme advisor: Tony Whelan
Academy player liaison officer: Dave Bushell
Academy operations manager: Steve Higham
Academy education manager: Ian Smithson
Academy performance support manager: Mick Farrell
Emerging talent programme manager: Jennifer Mildenhall
U17-U23 Head of player development: Justin Cochrane
U18 lead coach & U14-U16 Head of player development: Travis Binnion
U9-U13 Head of player development: Eamon Mulvey
U7-U11 Coaching and programme manager: Neil Gittins
Pre-Academy manager: Connor Hunter