Manchester United have confirmed that Kieran McKenna has been appointed as the club’s new Under-18 coach on Thursday, September 1.
He started out as a midfielder with Enniskillen Town, before he signed for Tottenham Hotspur. However, a hip injury forced him to end his playing career and he moved to take the coaching role at the north London club.
Paul McGuinness left the role at United in February and that was vacant, which will now be filled by McKenna. He signed for the 20-time English champions from rivals Tottenham.
United Under-18 side will take on Middlesbrough in the upcoming clash on Saturday. That will be McKenna’s first game in charge and he will be seen in the dug-out for the first time with his new club.
McKenna’s former club Tottenham knocked United out of the 2015 FA Youth Cup, which they lost to Chelsea in the semi-final.
A statement on United’s official website read, “Kieran McKenna has been confirmed as Manchester United’s new Under-18 coach.”
McKenna, who is a boyhood United fan is delighted to have completed his move as he has already started working with the Red Devils’ youngsters.
“It’s been excellent. I’ve been here about a week now, getting to know the staff, the players and everyone in the building. Everyone has been very welcoming and it helps that I knew quite a few of the staff already and had a good relationship with some of the people here,” McKenna told MUTV.
“I feel I’ve slotted in very quickly and the work with the boys on the grass has all gone extremely well so it’s been very smooth so far.
“I was involved with Tottenham since a 14-year-old lad coming across from Ireland to train with the youth team there,” he added. “I was full time since 16 and had seven fantastic years as a player. Obviously, the last couple were heavily disrupted by injury and I finished my playing career at 23 years old.
“I learned a lot and Tottenham have had a lot of success with Academy and I’m sure they will continue to do so now. To go to Manchester United, there is no bigger move you can make, it’s another fantastic Academy and it’s a dream come true really. I was a massive United fan, my dad brought me over to my first game in the 1994 season to see them lift the Premier League trophy.”