Travis Binnion and Tom Huddlestone.

United issue Academy coaching update

Tuesday 02 August 2022 19:00

Manchester United is delighted to announce two coaching appointments to its Professional Development Phase (U17-U23).

Ahead of the 2022/23 season, Tom Huddlestone (pictured above with Travis Binnion) joins the Academy as playing coach and David Hughes joins as Professional Development Phase coach.

Huddlestone succeeds Paul McShane in his role, which provided significant performance and development benefits across the whole Academy last season.

The experienced midfielder will create various unique development opportunities for United’s Academy players by coaching from within training sessions and driving daily standards on and off the pitch.

Tom meets Academy players at Carrington.

United’s next generation of Academy graduates will benefit from Huddlestone’s impressive knowledge and capabilities accumulated throughout his career, which has seen him make over 550 professional appearances, including 242 games in the Premier League.

Hughes will work across the Professional Development Phase as part of an increasingly flexible coaching structure designed to best support the individual development of each player.

He has held a range of senior positions in youth football including head of player development at Southampton, Under-18s lead coach at Aston Villa and most recently, academy manager at Cardiff City.

Matt Walker has as also joined the Academy as head of PDP athletic development and Curtis Quinn has started within the analysis department.

Each of the new members of Academy staff will also support Under-21s lead coach, Mark Dempsey, for his group’s games programme.

Head of Academy Nick Cox said: “We are really pleased to add both Tom and David to our team of best-in-class coaching experts working across the Professional Development Phase.

“The innovative approach that we took in appointing a playing coach last season was a real success and brought a range of benefits to the whole Academy.

Academy coaching update


Travis Binnion is promoted, while Mark Dempsey leads the U23s and Justin Cochrane departs.

“Tom is a superb candidate to take on this important role. Having played at the highest level during his outstanding career and already displayed excellent capabilities as a coach, his presence will benefit our players immeasurably.

“David brings a fantastic wealth of coaching and leadership experience. He has a proven track record of developing a great number of players who are playing in the Premier League and throughout professional football.

“David and Tom join a world-class team of coaches, led by Travis Binnion, who will continue to develop players for our first team and build on the legacy of our world-leading youth development system.”

Huddlestone will at times play in fixtures, subject to undergoing a successful medical. However this will solely be for United’s Under-21s side as one of five permitted over-age outfield players in Premier League 2 and the EFL Trophy.