Meet highly-rated coach Cochrane signed by Man Utd after England U21 interest

Highly-rated young coach Justin Cochrane has joined Manchester United, becoming the head of player development and coaching at their academy.

Cochrane had been working with the Football Association, where he was their youth development phase lead and England under-17s coach.

The 39-year-old has previously been name-checked by England boss Gareth Southgate as an “excellent young coach” and he was linked with the under-21s job following Aidy Boothroyd’s departure in April.

However, Cochrane has now joined United’s youth set-up and he will work alongside the club’s under-23s lead coach Neil Wood and under-18s boss Neil Ryan to ‘maximise the potential of each individual player’.

Justin Cochrane has been appointed head of player development and coaching at Manchester United’s academy

Cochrane’s playing career spanned 13 years and saw him represent the likes of Queens Park Rangers, Crewe Alexandra and Rotherham United, as well as turning out for the Antigua and Barbuda national team.

While he was still plying his trade in the lower leagues, Cochrane began coaching at Tottenham Hotspur ‘s academy.

Working under Chris Ramsey and John McDermott, Cochrane spent nine years at Spurs and helped develop the likes of Japhet Tanganga, Oliver Skipp and Noni Madueke.

He left Spurs in 2018 and joined the FA’s set-up, being appointed England’s under-15s head coach.

Cochrane went on to follow his squad through the age groups, managing England’s under-16s and under-17s.

Speaking to United’s official website, Cochrane said: “Joining such a world-renowned Academy system is an extremely proud moment and I cannot wait to get started in this new and exciting role.

“From the first conversations, I could see the depth of top-level coaching talent that is already in place at the club.

“I look forward to working with each of them to provide the right environment for our players to thrive and to continue the phenomenal record of developing players for Manchester United ’s first-team.

“I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone at The FA for their support over the last three years, working alongside such a dedicated group of staff is a period of my career that I will never forget.

Who should be England’s next under-21s boss? Comment below

“Working within the national team set up to develop future England internationals was an incredible experience and I wish Gareth and his staff all the best for Euro 2020.”

United’s head of Academy, Nick Cox said: “I am delighted that Justin has joined us as we continue to build on our achievements over recent years. Justin brings a wealth of experience that further enhances the excellent group of staff that we have throughout the Academy.

“Our focus on producing world-class players capable of excelling in Manchester United’s first team remains as strong as ever.

Cochrane has previously worked with Tottenham Hotspur's academy and the FA's youth set-up
Cochrane has previously worked with Tottenham Hotspur’s academy and the FA’s youth set-up

“Justin will work with our existing pool of elite coaches to provide each of our players with experiences that will help them grow and succeed in life and play professional football at the highest level possible.

“Mark Dempsey will continue to play an integral role in providing all of our coaches with support and guidance and of course remains an invaluable link with the first-team.

“The new structure will further support players in making that step up to the next level for many years to come.”

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