Manchester United lose highly-rated academy boss Justin Cochrane with Brentford beating a number of Premier League clubs to appointing the former England youth coach in a first-team position
- Manchester United are going to lose highly-rated youth boss Justin Cochrane
- Premier League clubs have been circling for the former England youth coach
- But it’s Brentford who won the race, with Cochrane joining Thomas Frank’s setup
- Cochrane joined United last summer and helped them win the FA Youth Cup
Manchester United have confirmed the departure of sought-after academy chief Justin Cochrane ahead of his move to Brentford.
Sportsmail revealed earlier on Thursday how a number of United’s Premier League rivals have attempted to prise Cochrane away from United’s youth setup, hoping the lure of a first-team position will boost their chances.
And Thomas Frank is poised to win the race to bolster his backroom staff by adding Cochrane to it as a first-team coach.
Manchester United have confirmed the departure of sought-after academy chief Justin Cochrane
Cochrane was part of the coaching set up as Man United’s U18s won the FA Youth Cup final
In a statement confirming a number of changes to their academy staff structure, United said Cochrane ‘has left the club in order to take up a new position as first-team coach at a Premier League side. The academy tanks Justin for his service throughout his time at the club and wishes him the best of luck in his new role.’
United’s head of academy Nick Cox added: ‘Naturally, we are pleased that Justin has been able to fulfil his ambition of working in a first-team environment.’
Former Tottenham and England youth coach Cochrane joined United last summer as their head of player development and coaching, a title that gave him an overseeing role in their academy responsible for the development of all of United’s under-17s to 23s.
The 40 year-old was part of the coaching setup as United won the FA Youth Cup for the first time since 2011 and been praised for the positive impact he has had on both the club’s players and existing coaches.
With that added to his previous work, Cochrane is now in the sights of a number of United’s Premier League rivals.
Clubs are increasingly looking to coaches with development backgrounds and proven track records in improving players and Cochrane is one such figure who fits the bill for Brentford.
London-born Antigua and Barbuda international Cochrane had a 13-year playing career which began at QPR and included spells at Crewe and Rotherham.
He held a series of youth team coaching roles at Spurs from their under-12s up to the under-23s, helping develop the likes of current youngsters Japhet Tanganga, Oliver Skipp and Dane Scarlett but also many others who have flourished after leaving Spurs including PSV’s Noni Madueke and Sporting Lisbon’s Marcus Edwards.
Cochrane then joined the FA from Spurs, coaching their under-15s through to under-17s and was interviewed for the under-21 job and offered first-team managerial roles before being persuaded to return to club football full-time by United.
Cochrane (R) made his name as a coach at the FA, working with England’s youth sides
Before that he had been given a chance to learn the ropes under Scott Parker with Tottenham’s Under 19s side
Cochrane’s departure is one of many at Old Trafford following the arrival of Erik ten Hag
Cochrane’s exit is the latest in a string of departures behind the scenes at United, with a number of coaching changes made at both first team, connected to the arrival of manager Erik ten Hag, and also youth team level.
From the academy, Neil Wood left his role as under-23s lead coach to become first team manager at League Two Salford City.
Neil Ryan, who was under-23s assistant, also departed to become a national coach with the FA.