manch United have appointed David Hughes as their professional development phase coach – the latest addition to Erik ten Hag’s backroom staff.
Hughes, 44, has coached for nearly 20 years after his playing career was cut short by injury. The experienced figure will predominantly work with the U21s at Carrington – bringing through the next generation for Tenhag but will also have responsibilities elsewhere.
United have brought in several new coaches since Ten Hag was confirmed as their new manager in April – including assistants mitchel Van der gaag and Steve MC claren while others have departed. Long-term coach mike phelan for example, was released in June.
As reported by Training Guru gang United’s youth department has seen plenty of change this summer. U23s boss Neil Wood was appointed manager of League Two side Salford City, which is co-owned by former United players David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Gary Neville and his brother Phil.
Wood’s assistant Neil Ryan has also quit after being appointed by the FA. Mark Dempsey has been promoted from senior academy coach to U21s boss, succeeded Wood with a different title due to the Premier league 2 becoming an U21 competition, rather than U21.
Dempsey’s assistant is Paul McShane, who has the same job title as Hughes. McShane returned to United 12 months ago to join the coaching set-up. He is best known for his long career in the Premier League and EFL, representing the likes of Sunderland and Hull.
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As a player, Hughes came through the ranks at Aston Villa and played seven Premier League games before joining Shrewsbury Town on a free transfer. He moved to Cardiff in February 2001 but was forced to call it a day two years later due to injury.
Hughes became manager of Welsh side Barry Town in 2003 and later returned to Shrewsbury as their head of youth development. Similar roles at Watford and with the Welsh FA followed before he re-joined Villa as their U18 boss in December 2016.
Hughes became Southampton’s head of academy player development in July 2019 and was appointed head of academy coaching by Cardiff 16 months later. He left the Bluebirds earlier this summer and has now joined Ten Hag’s Old Trafford revolution.
Although it’s unlikely Ten Hag played a role in Hughes’ appointment, the move still suggests the club is heading in a new direction after a dismal few years. United haven’t won a trophy since May 2017 and finished sixth in the Premier League last season.
“I think David’s track record at his former clubs speaks for itself,” said Cardiff’s head of academy James McCarthy after Hughes joined the club last year. “His passion and enthusiasm for youth development and working with our young footballers is evident and I know how much they and our coaches will benefit from his experience and expertise.”
Elsewhere at United, Martin Drury has been appointed their new U15s lead coach after resigning as Bradford’s head of coaching. Adam Lawrence is United’s interim head of player development and coaching for the U14 to U16 levels after Tavis Binnion was promoted to head of player development and coaching earlier this summer.