Release Date: 05/10/2012
STEPHEN Robinson has been appointed as the new manager of the Northern Ireland Under -19 and Under-17 teams.
The former international, who will focus on both age-groups, has also named his former international colleague Stephen Craigan as his Assistant at Under-19 level, with Tommy Johnson becoming the Under-17 Assistant.
“I am extremely honoured to be given these positions. With so many good young players coming through our ranks here in Northern Ireland it is an exciting time to be involved in the set-up. I know, from my time within the Excellence Centres, the calibre of players we have at these levels and it is an advantage, of course, that I have already worked with some of the current players in my previous role, so I know what they are capable of,” said Robinson.
The 37-year-old enjoyed a successfully club career, with the majority of his playing days spent at Bournemouth, Luton Town and Tottenham Hotspur.
Northern Ireland manager, Michael O’Neill added: “There is a tremendous amount of talent in the U17 and U19 squads and this is an area that I need a real focus on to develop these players with the aim of moving some of them into the senior set-up when they are ready, and Stephen is the man to do this. I see the Under-19s as the most important age-group to develop, as evidence has shown that players are graduating to the senior squad much earlier than in the past due to our limited player resources at that level. Stephen is an exciting young coach with plenty of ambition and drive to succeed. He has tremendous experience as a player and I have absolutely no doubt that he will use that experience and become a first class coach and manager. I feel he has the knowledge of the young players in this country and for me, he was the obvious choice to oversee the Under-17 and -19 squads.”
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