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Gary Sampson in the North Stand at The Peninsula Stadium after being appointed as Under 18s Lead CoachWe are pleased to announce that Gary Sampson has joined the Academy as Lead Under-18s Coach!

The 38-year-old arrives from Manchester United after being identified as the best candidate in a thorough recruitment process with some very strong applicants.

A former youth player at United, Gary’s coaching career started following his release by the Red Devils at 21 and he has worked for their youth setup in the subsequent years, taking his total time there to over 30 years. 

Alongside that he continued to play football in non-league, having spells at Radcliffe Borough, FC United of Manchester, and even at Moor Lane when he scored one goal in seven appearances at the beginning of the 2009-10 season.

With his playing days behind him, and a UEFA A-Licence under his belt, Gary’s looking forward to a new challenge in his career leading on the Under-18s’ coaching programme.

“I think it’s the right step at the right time for me. My past experience has been in the Youth Development phase, I’ve not outgrown it but I felt I need a new challenge and this is definitely the challenge that I needed and it came at the right time for me so that was the thinking.

“The ambitions of the Club, not just for the first team but further down, that sort of thread they want to get through the Academy, Development Squad and First Team is exciting.

“I’m expecting it to be tough, I’m making no bones about it it’s going to be difficult, a challenge, but an exciting one so I can’t wait to get going. The programme that me and Luke have put together with the other staff is a really good one, and exciting one, so we want to push the boys this year.

“But it’s all about the individual, definitely, and how we can help them get to the next stage, and to their next level. Obviously we want to win, this is a Club that has to win, but it’s not going to come at the detriment of development.”

Welcome to The Peninsula Stadium, Gary, and we wish you a successful tenure with the Under-18s! 

Fixtures for the EFL Youth Alliance North West Division should be available soon.