Lee Carsley has been named as the new England Under-21 manager with Ashley Cole as his assistant manager.
Carsley replaces Aidy Boothroyd as U21s manager after the latter resigned in Spring following a disastrous UEFA Euro U21s campaign, in which the Young Lions crashed out at the Group Stage.
This move also sees Carsley step up from his previous role of Professional Development Phase Lead, which encompassed the U18, U19 and U20 age groups. with the 47 year-old set to ‘continue to maintain strong relationships with all national coaches and players’ as part of England’s pathway.
Cole will meanwhile combine his international duties with his ongoing role at Chelsea in their academy setup.
Speaking on his new role, Carsley revealed that it was “a massive honour and achievement to coach the MU21s”, which he believes to be “a really prestigious position with a lot of responsibility as has been proven by the calibre of predecessors in this role.”
Carsley also praised England’s senior team manager – Gareth Southgate for his support alongside assistant – Steve Holland and cannot wait to work more closely with both coaches to form a more close integration between the U21s and senior squad.
With England fresh off the back of finishing runners-up at UEFA Euro 2020, Carsley also iterated that there is “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.”
Carsley though iterated that victories is important if players are to break through into the main squad with clubs also needing to play their part, saying: “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.”
Cole meanwhile is “really happy” to be named assistant manager and cannot wait to support Carsley in working to develop various youngsters looking to make that final breakthrough at international level into Southgate’s squad.
Carsley’s first match in charge of the U21s will see the Young Lions visit Romania on 3 September 2021 in a friendly, before kicking off their 2023 UEFA Euro U21s Qualifying campaign on 7 September at home to Kosovo at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes.