I am sure a few will have heard it from the bookies first.
Anyone else never even heard of him before this?
Anyone else never even heard of him before this?
Blackpool Football Club is delighted to announce that Neil Critchley has agreed to become Head Coach on a contract that runs until the end of the 2022/23 season.
One of only 16 coaches in the country to have gained the highest possible qualification in the game, the 41-year-old joins the Club from reigning UEFA Champions League holders Liverpool, where he has held the position of Under-23s coach.
Having served in that role since 2017, on the back of four years as Under-18s coach, Critchley has helped develop some of Liverpool’s brightest young talents and internationals.
This season, he has also taken charge of the Reds in a Carabao Cup quarter-final and Emirates FA Cup tie, guiding a young side to the fifth round stage of the latter.
Born in Crewe, Critchley was Academy Director at his hometown club for six years between 2007 and 2013.
Owner Simon Sadler said:
“I would like to welcome Neil as he joins us on our journey and thank Liverpool for the way they have handled our approach. The fact that we’ve been able to attract a coach of Neil’s calibre is testament to how this Club is now viewed and is a result of the work that has been done here over recent months.
“Neil is a highly-regarded coach who impressed us with his thorough preparation and analysis of the team. We want this Club to represent the town and community by playing entertaining football, working hard and being organised. We firmly believe that Neil can deliver this and lay down the blueprint for our footballing philosophy.
“Finally, I would like to thank Brett, Linton and, particularly, Ben for their hard work during this process and a special thanks to David Dunn and Tommy Johnson for stepping up on an interim basis to take charge of the team.”
Chief Executive Ben Mansford said:
“I am delighted to welcome Neil to Blackpool FC. Neil is one of the most talented coaches in the country and comes with a wealth of experience. From starting his coaching journey, to taking the Liverpool team this season, Neil has committed his professional life to becoming the best.
“When you combine his time spent at Crewe, which ultimately saw him become Academy Director and where the target was to develop individuals, with his seven years at Liverpool, the last three of which were spent with their highly regarded Under-23s, where the team was supreme, I feel we have a stand out person to lead Blackpool forwards with our own aims of returning to the Championship and beyond.
“On top of his coaching credentials, Neil is also a great person who is regarded as being a man of real integrity. I can’t wait for Neil to get started and I am looking forward to working with him closely.”
Head Coach Neil Critchley added:
“I am absolutely delighted to join Blackpool. The trust and faith that has been shown in me from Simon and Ben gives me a very special feeling inside. I can’t wait to get started, I’m really looking forward to the weeks and months ahead, meeting the players, working on the grass, developing the team and meeting some of the supporters.
“The time I’ve had at Liverpool has been truly special. I’ve been incredibly well supported there from Alex Inglethorpe, the Academy Manager, and all the staff. It’s a truly special football club and it’s the people that make the football club the place that it is. It would have had to have taken something equally as special, if not more, for me to even think about leaving.
“But from the conversations I’ve had here, I got a really good feeling about the people, where they want the Club to go and how they want it to grow.”
Hopefully use his connections and can get some quality loans from Liverpool.
Wow. Welcome aboard Neil. Has a UEFA Elite Licence, top badge you can get.
I'd never heard of him before yesterday, but I'm now an expert.
Great appointment, should bring a brilliant and devastating style of football. Lump on promotion.
From the Liverpool site.
Liverpool can confirm U23s coach Neil Critchley has left the club to take up the position of head coach at Blackpool.
After six-and-a-half years of outstanding service within the Reds’ Academy set-up, the 41-year-old departs to begin a role with the first team at the League One side.
Critchley moved to Merseyside in September 2013 to take the reins of the U18s before progressing to the U23s ahead of the 2017-18 campaign.
He also took charge of the first team for two games this season as he oversaw the Carabao Cup tie at Aston Villa in December and, more recently, the FA Cup fourth-round replay against Shrewsbury Town at Anfield, helping guide a side consisting of players from the youth ranks to a 1-0 victory last month.
Academy director Alex Inglethorpe admits the news brings mixed emotions and while disappointed to see Critchley leave Kirkby, he feels it further demonstrates the pathway from the Academy into first-team football for coaches as well as players.
In recent years, Steven Gerrard, Michael Beale and Mike Marsh have all progressed to senior roles at other clubs having initially worked within Liverpool’s youth structure.
Meanwhile, the Reds’ first-team assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders was promoted to Melwood having begun duties with the club at the Academy.
“It’s a bittersweet day in many respects,” said Inglethorpe.
“Obviously losing a person and professional of Neil’s calibre is something that is a disappointment, but at the same time we have great excitement and joy that he has been given this wonderful opportunity.
“We see this as a reflection on the Academy as a whole, that it’s an environment where players and coaches have a pathway to progression and self-improvement.
“Blackpool want Neil because of the work he’s done at Liverpool and it shows to everyone within our system that if you work hard and work smart then rewards are there.
“Neil epitomises the best qualities of a modern coach: leadership skills, intelligence, compassion and a hunger for individual and collective improvement. Blackpool are very fortunate to have him and we wish him well.
“For the U23s we are confident in the remaining coaching talent we have to make sure there is no drop-off in the interim period. This season has proved the importance of the role and, therefore, we will take advantage of having amazing people already in post to take stock and assess what to do next.
“Myself, Michael Edwards and Jürgen Klopp will work collaboratively on what works best for the future. Pathway is so critical to this club we want to make sure we make the best appointment we can.”
Responsibilities for Liverpool’s U23s in the interim will be assumed by existing coaching staff before a permanent appointment is made.
Everybody at Liverpool Football Club would like to thank Neil for his outstanding contribution to the club and wish him all the best in his new position.
I like him already. 4-3-3!
📽 "It's important that the team plays in a way that the supporters can identify..."— Blackpool FC (@BlackpoolFC) March 2, 2020
New Head Coach Neil Critchley on what fans can expect from his Blackpool side.
Full interview coming soon.
🍊 #UTMP pic.twitter.com/4Gcs8SHbD8
This is a great video. Hopefully sums up his passion and respect of the players.
Magic147 wrote:NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO SIIIIIIIGGGGGGNNNNIIIIIIIIIINNNNNGGGGWhere is he???
"I can’t wait to get started, I’m really looking forward to the weeks and months ahead, meeting the players, working on the grass, developing the team and meeting some of the supporters."
What's up with the grass????
Tangerinenick wrote:Very happy with this appointment not just to manage the first team but the whole structural club changes that he can be very influential over.Agree mate, the amount of reference to "growth" and "development" in that interview says a lot.
Klopp: "I'm really happy for him...it’s a big club and hopefully everything will go well"
The good old tangerine tie is out.
Neil Critchley confirms that, in the short term at least, he will be working alongside the current backroom team in David Dunn, Tommy Johnson and Steve Banks.