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England U21s appoint Lee Carsley and Ashley Cole

England U21s appoint Lee Carsley as Head Coach
England U21s appoint Lee Carsley as Head Coach

England men’s Under-21s have unveiled Lee Carsley as their new head coach.

Carsley has been upgraded from his post in charge of the U20s and will succeed Aidy Boothroyd whose five-year spell came to an end in April after the Young Lions were knocked out of the U21 Euros in the group stages.

The likes of Sol Campbell, Jody Morris, Paul Tisdale, Justin Cochrane, and Frank Lampard had all linked to the England U21s job at various points, but in the end it’s Carsley who has bagged the job.

Carsley, a former Republic of Ireland player, has plenty of experience and knowledge of England’s youth sides having managed the U20s, worked as an assistant coach to the U21s and a coach at U19 level. Additionally, the 47-year-old managed Brentford and has coaching experience from his time at Man City, Sheffield United, Birmingham, and Coventry,

Meanwhile, former England left-back Ashley Cole - sixth on the all-time list with 107 caps for his country - has joined as assistant coach. The 40-year-old will combine his new job with his role working at Chelsea’s academy.

“I see it as a massive honour and achievement to coach the MU21s,” Carsley said after his appointment was made official. “It is a really prestigious position with a lot of responsibility as has been proven by the calibre of predecessors in this role. 

“Gareth and Steve Holland have always been very supportive and I'm looking forward to working more closely with them.

"We have a great opportunity to help the senior side by developing the best young talent in this country while combining that with the aim of being successful at U21 level. 

“We want to win matches. I don’t think you can have one without the other, these lads want to compete at the highest level and test themselves against the best. We have to acknowledge the work being done by the academies and I know how important it will be to have good relationships with the clubs. 

“I will have a great team around me. Ashley is a brilliant addition to the staff and we will also have Tim Dittmer as goalkeeping coach, with all of his experience of the game.

"I've been on courses with Ashley during lockdown and been impressed. He is committed to coaching and player development so a lot of our thoughts are aligned.”

Cole has previously stated that he wants to become a manager in his own right and is currently studying for his UEFA Pro License, with this new job a step in the right direction for the young coach. “I'm really happy to get this opportunity to support Lee and work with the best youngsters in the country," he said.

"I loved playing for the national team and to now get the chance to work as an England coach is a special feeling. St. George’s Park is an amazing place and I can’t wait to get started. I want to do my best to help young players to develop, and also learn from some brilliant people at the same time.”

Carsley and Cole will lead England U21s for the first time on 3rd September in a friendly away to Romania, before embarking upon qualifying for the U21 Euros.

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