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Management needed new faces: Worthy

By Stuart McKinley

Nigel Worthington has defended the decision to completely overhaul the management structure of the Northern Ireland underage teams.

Roy Millar, Mal Donaghy and Kenny Shiels were dismissed from their posts at under-21, under-19 and under-17 level respectively at the end of April after successful spells in charge.

Leicester City Academy coach Steve Beaglehole will now oversee the under-21 and under-19 teams, with former Institute manager Paul Kee being handed the responsibility for the under-17s.

"I wanted to freshen things up, along with the association," said Worthington.

"I thought it was important to bring new faces in, new voices and try to take things forward onto another level.

"All the people who were in the roles previously had a good crack of the whip, but this is a new regime."

Beaglehole has an impressive coaching CV, having earned his UEFA A Licence at the tender age of 21.

He has worked at Doncaster Rovers, where he was manager for a short time, Leeds United and Nottingham Forest before joining the Foxes in 2000 and helped Worthington prepare the Northern Ireland senior side for the recent friendly at home to Bulgaria.

"I had hoped that Nigel would get the Leicester City job when he was caretaker manager last year," said Beaglehole.

"He said to me before that he was looking to make changes and I was very interested in coming.

"To be asked to work at international level is a great compliment."

Kee now has to maintain a record that has seen the under-17s reach the Elite qualifying phase six years in succession.

"I know that the under-17s have been successful in reaching the Elite stages and Kenny Shiels also took the team to the finals on one occasion as well and myself and I am looking forward to the challenge of continuing that, " he said.

Belfast Telegraph


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