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Paul McGuinness leaves Manchester United as academy revamp starts

Published 12/02/2016

Paul McGuinness has left his role as Manchester United youth coach
Paul McGuinness has left his role as Manchester United youth coach

Manchester United have parted company with youth coach Paul McGuinness as the revamp of their academy begins.

McGuinness, himself a United academy product and son of former United manager Wilf McGuinness, has been in charge of the Under-18s since 2005 but has seen a dramatic slump in standards, with his side bottom of the Premier League's Under-18 North Division with only 11 points from 19 matches this season.

In a statement released via the club, McGuinness said: "It has been an honour and a privilege to follow in my father Wilf's footsteps and to serve Manchester United in a variety of roles for a total of 28 years.

"I have dedicated my life to each job, from player to education and welfare officer, to Centre of Excellence director and scout, assistant academy director for under-9s to under-16s and later under-17s to under-21s, head coach for the professional development phase and finally youth-team coach.

"I will be forever grateful to Sir Alex Ferguson for making my dreams come true and inviting me to represent Manchester United as a player and for the last 23 years as a proud member of staff."

McGuinness, who added he would pursue a future in the game away from United, saw 86 academy products go on to make a first-team debut, with 23 becoming full internationals.

McGuinness' departure comes amid a review of United's academy ordered by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, following the departure of former head Brian McClair, who became the Scottish Football Association's performance director last year.

During a conference call with investors on Thursday, Woodward said the review was now complete and changes were to be expected.

Nicky Butt, who is currently coaching the Under-19s, is thought to be under consideration for McClair's post while Oxford United manager Michael Appleton has also been linked with the post.

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