|Job||xxxx Football Coach|
|Org||xxxx National Team|
|Club as Coach||Manchester United [Youth Coach]|
2019 07 04 Retrieve
[Neil Wood takes charge of the Under-23s following the departure of veteran coach Ricky Sbragia at the end of the season by mutual consent after less than two years in the post] It is a real honour to be appointed lead coach for the Under-23s. I have learnt a lot about this age group over the last few seasons. This club has been a major part of my life since I joined the Academy in 1999 and I am delighted to continue that relationship in this role. The Academy has a fantastic record of developing players to play for Manchester United and the opportunity to have a role in continuing that tradition is extremely exciting
2019 08 11 Retrieve
[United took the opportunity to unveil a host of fellow prospects who will line up in the club’s youth ranks this season] Two members of Neil Wood’s squad, Paul Woolston and Luca Ercolani, have signed fresh contracts to continue their development with the Under-23s. Woolston, a goalkeeper formerly with Newcastle United, appeared in the final two Premier League 2 matches of last season, while centre-back Ercolani has been at the club since 2016. At Under-18 level, international clearance has now been received for three new additions. Johan Guadagno is a 16-year-old keeper from IF Brommapojkarna in Sweden, while forwards Dillon Hoogewerf and Mateo Mejia have also joined. Netherlands Under-16 international striker Hoogewerf arrives from Ajax and Mejia was previously with Real Zaragoza in Spain. Meanwhile, Bjorn Hardley is another player awaiting international clearance before his move to United can be completed. The 16-year-old Dutch defender was previously with NAC Breda
2020 05 19 Retrieve
[Garner, Levitt & the Man Utd youngsters tipped to join the first team next season] A lot of them have moved forward significantly in their development and they’re now ready for the next stage. Jimmy Garner has scored loads of goals and he’s added that extra attacking edge to his game, which is brilliant. Dylan Levitt has fantastic vision, creativity and a great range of passing, which he showed when he played against Astana in the Europa League. And then you’ve got Ethan Galbraith, who has done excellently this season, as well as Di’Shon Bernard and Teden Mengi too. There are five or six doing really well and a few have already made their debuts. We will keep pushing those guys forward to try and get them to the first team.
The objective from the start wasn’t solely to get promoted; it was to get players as close as possible to the first team and get our team playing as close to Manchester United’s style as possible. As the season went on, we were doing well and really pushing West Ham. Once we got to February, we started to think about really going for promotion. The lads were confident of catching West Ham and that they could get the automatic spot. I was confident they could do that as well. It was disappointing for the season to finish like it did and, at the moment, we’re not sure what’s going to happen. But there’s still been plenty to be proud of, whatever the outcome
For myself, the development has been massive this season. Learning lessons and decision-making - it’s all part of being a manager and, ultimately, you’re making the right decisions for your players to help them progress. I think my playing career has shaped me as a manager, When I look back the teams that I went to in the lower leagues in England, I didn’t learn that much. It was so rigid playing 4-4-2 and teams were playing long, direct balls, playing off second balls and managers were happy keeping possession and scoring from a set-piece. One of the reasons I wanted to go abroad is because I didn’t enjoy that part of playing. That definitely benefitted me, and I learned a lot. We want to dominate possession and be a fast, attacking team who can break quickly, create chances and score goals, while being strong defensively - and that’s what we have done. The season has gone well, the lads have played some good football, they’ve been challenged and we’ve tried to push them as much as we can. I’ve enjoyed working with the players, they’ve trained hard and pushed each other on and I’m proud of the way they’ve taken on board the way we want them to play.
We’re constantly having conversations with the first-team staff about players coming up, coming down, what’s the plan and how we can improve certain individuals. With loan moves, there’s not much movement from clubs at the moment in terms of next season, but we will sit down and discuss who might benefit from a move and to where, and work out a pathway for each player. Everyone understands the main goal is to get players to the first team. So, I’ll keep planning for next season and when we get the go-ahead to return, we can go and hit the ground running