Mick Wadsworth has returned to Sheffield United as senior youth development coach, writes James Shield.
The former DR Congo, Beira-Mar and Carlisle chief, who assisted Chris Morgan during his previous spell in caretaker charge of the League One club, also assumes responsibility for mentoring staff at Shirecliffe.
Nick Cox, who manages United’s critically acclaimed Redtooth Academy, hailed Wadsworth’s appointment as a major coup given his vast experience and expertise.
“We are delighted that Mick has agreed to come and work for us on a more formal basis having been of great support over the last year or so,” Cox said. “This is yet another great piece of news for the academy what with brand new Astroturf pitches, the signing of some talented young players and an exciting summer of tours and tournaments for all age groups.
“Things are really starting to take shape after three years of hard work. It feels like there are some exciting times ahead, especially with the new manager and his staff really embracing the work we do and being genuinely committed to ensuring that talented youngsters will be given a chance to play.”
Wadsworth, aged 64, rose to prominence as technical coordinator of the Football Association’s Excellent Programme before Sir Bobby Robson, who later appointed him as his assistant at Newcastle, asked him to become an official observer for England’s senior team.
Wadsworth is known top have impressed members of the first team squad after Morgan sought his advice following David Weir’s departure in 2013 and regularly attended academy fixtures last term after developing an “excellent working relationship” with Cox.
Kyle Walker, Stephen Quinn, Harry Maguire, George Long and Kyle Naughton are among those to progress through the ranks at Bramall Lane in recent years while Phil Jagielka also made his professional debut for United.
“Mick has worked with some of the most talented players this country has ever had through his work at the National School as well as having had the chance to work with some outstanding coaches,” Cox continued. “His experience will be invaluable to our staff and players.”