Former Republic of Ireland midfielder Lee Carsley has been appointed as England’s U21 head coach, appointing Ashley Cole as his assistant.
The English FA were concerned that the 47-year-old would depart their set-up to the FAI in January when Damien Duff’s resignation created a vacancy on Stephen Kenny’s backroom staff but he’s been rewarded for his loyalty by this promotion from the U20 post.
He succeeds Aidy Boothroyd, the man he assisted at one point, taking charge for the 2023 European Championship qualification campaign kicking off in September. He’ll start with a friendly in Romania four days before the first qualifier at home to Kosovo.
Birmingham-born Carsley won 40 caps for Ireland after declaring through his grandmother from Dunmanway in west Cork. He was part of Mick McCarthy’s squad at the 2002 World Cup.
On his appointment, he said: “I see it as a massive honour and achievement to coach the men’s U21s.
“It is a really prestigious position with a lot of responsibility as has been proven by the calibre of predecessors in this role.
“Gareth Southgate 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.”
On selecting Cole, the former Arsenal and Chelsea full-back who will combine his duties with that as Academy coach at Chelsea, Carsley added: “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.”