For­mer Robins boss Down­ing takes charge of Eng­land U-20s

Gloucestershire Echo - - CHELTENHAM TOWN FC -

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FOR­MER Chel­tenham Town man­ager Keith Down­ing has been con­firmed as Eng­land Un­der-20s coach for the 2019/20 sea­son.

He led the Young Li­ons to 2017 Un­der-19 Euro vic­tory and was in charge of the Un­der-19s last sea­son, but now moves up a year group.

Down­ing’s first match is a home in­ter­na­tional against the Nether­lands at Shrews­bury Town on Thurs­day, Sep­tem­ber 5 (7pm), with Barns­ley’s ex-robins young­ster Luke Thomas in the squad for the first time.

Ian Foster has been ap­pointed as the new head coach of the Un­der-18s, fol­low­ing more than two years as spe­cial­ist coach with the Un­der-17s.

Paul Simp­son, who won the U20 World Cup in 2017, will take charge of this year’s Un­der-19s, work­ing to­wards qual­i­fi­ca­tion for next sum­mer’s Un­der-19 Euro Fi­nals, which will be staged in North­ern Ire­land.

All three coaches will work to a three-year cy­cle, mov­ing up through the age groups and work­ing with a group of play­ers over a longer pe­riod, en­hanc­ing in­di­vid­ual and team devel­op­ment and fo­cus­ing on qual­i­fy­ing and com­pet­ing in ma­jor in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ments.

For­mer Wolves and Here­ford United mid­fielder Down­ing joined Chel­tenham as as­sis­tant to man­ager John Ward in the sum­mer of 2004.

He then took over in the top job fol­low­ing Ward’s de­par­ture to Carlisle United in Oc­to­ber 2007, keep­ing the Robins in League One against all the odds with a dra­matic 2-1 fi­nal day vic­tory over Don­caster Rovers, hav­ing recorded an im­prob­a­ble win dou­ble over Leeds United.

Down­ing was re­placed by Martin Allen in Sep­tem­ber 2008 and he went on to work at West Bromwich Al­bion, in­clud­ing time as care­taker man­ager, be­tween 2009 and 2015 be­fore join­ing the Eng­land set-up and work­ing as an op­po­si­tion an­a­lyst for Gareth South­gate at last sum­mer’s World Cup in Rus­sia.

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