Former Premier League manager to take charge of England Under-20's

England Jersey

Aidy Boothroyd formerly of Watford been appointed as the new manager of the England Under-20 side.

The former Watford, Colchester United, Coventry City, and Northampton Town manager and will work under Under-21 head coach Gareth Southgate and Director of elite development Dan Ashworth as part of the country's youth development.

Boothroyd was dismissed as Northampton manager earlier this season with The Cobblers languishing in the bottom two of League Two. Last season however, he had taken them to the play-off final before being beaten by Bradford City. His most successful spell as a manager came in his first managerial job. He took charge of Watford in 2005 and duly led them to promotion to the Premier League in his first season in charge.

It's a remarkable transition for Boothroyd given that when he was sacked in December Northampton Town were bottom of the Football League and now he is managing his country, albeit at youth-level. But it is his experience of working with youth before that has caught the eye.

He has worked as a youth coach at Peterborough United, Norwich City and West Bromwich Albion. He worked alongside Dan Ashworth at The Hawthorns and they will now work which each other once again for the national side.

Some have criticised his appointment as they feel he will send out the wrong message to the young stars in this country. We all like to see attractive football, and many want the national side to start incorporating that at a young level so we can match the top team in international football. Boothroyd has a reputation for route one football though and earned the nickname Aidy 'Hoofroyd' for that reason.

Boothroyd is only 43 though and has a lot of experience in coaching for someone of his age. He returns to youth development for the first time in ten years and it is an opportunity he is relishing. "I'm excited by this opportunity - youth development is where it all began for me," he said.

"I have taken on aspects of that into my management. That love of coaching and developing players has kept going."

As well as managing the Under-20 side, Boothroyd will work with many age groups alongside other national team managers including Noel Blake.  

"At Watford I helped bring through players like Ashley Young and Ben Foster early in their careers, and more recently, I had Saido Berahino when I was Northampton Town manager. I have always wanted to bring young players through."

 

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