Warren Joyce has left Manchester United after eight years in charge of the reserves side, bringing great success with multiple league titles at youth level., as he joins Wigan Athletic as first team manager.
Key figure at United academy leaves
Joyce initially arrived at United after coaching at the Reds' then-partnered club Royal Antwerp, taking charge of the reserves in combination with former-player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 2008. He took full control when Solskjaer left for first team management in 2010. In three of the four years of the under-21 Premier League, now rebranded as Premier League 2, United have been champions under Joyce.
Despite multiple attempts to lure him away from youth football and Manchester United, Joyce has remained at the club for eight years and played a vital role in the development of many of Europe's elite players.
In the past week, it has been revealed that Manchester United are the most productive English academy in Europe with 42 players being created at the famous system in the continent's 31 top divisions. In the top five leagues alone, the Reds have been responsible for 34 players.
Joyce has been vital to such statistics, bringing through current first team players Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard.
Wigan appoint United youth coach Joyce
The Englishman has signed a three-and-a-half year contract at Championship side Wigan Athletic, set to face former-United defender Jaap Stam in his first game, the Dutchman in charge of Reading.
Joyce has dealt with multiple difficult issues at United's academy. While it was put under intense scrutiny following widespread media coverage of its failings, Joyce remained in charge and provided stability, particularly for the young players. He has remained an integral figure and has been forced to make do with no striker at under-23 level due to a lack of investment in previous years. Players like Matty Willock, Devonte Redmond, and Scott McTominay have been used up front by Joyce, usually midfielders.
His role with certain players has been key, too. Over 40 players have progressed from the academy to the United first team during Joyce's time in charge. In certain cases, such as currently with converted left-back Joe Riley, Joyce has altered players' positions and created a far-improved player.
His replacement will take time to be appointed. Generally appointments within the Manchester United academy are internal, although the under-18s manager's position was recently filled by Tottenham Hotspur coach Kieran McKenna so a similar scenario could follow at under-23 level.