Gareth Southgate is thrilled to be appointed head coach of England’s U21 side.
Stuart Pearce had led the Young Lions to four successive European Championships during his six-year stint in charge, but they have regressed since finishing runners-up to Germany in 2009. This year they left the tournament in Israel without a single point, and this led to the Football Association releasing him in June when his contract expired.
Former Middlesbrough manager Southgate was immediately installed as the favourite to take up the reigns, and it has now been confirmed that he has signed a three-year deal. The 42-year-old, who will also oversee the coaches with responsibility for the U16s through to the U20s, will take charge for the first time against Moldova in September.
“I’m delighted to get this role and extremely excited about the prospect of working with the best and brightest young players in the country,” he told the FA’s official website. “I’m a proud Englishman and playing for my country was the pinnacle of my playing career.
“Since retiring as a player I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience of the game both here and abroad, and I’m eager to play my part in preparing players to compete at the highest level. Whenever any team steps onto the pitch for England, being successful is of huge importance, but it is also about developing a clear style of play.”
Southgate, who won 57 caps as a player, previously worked for the FA as Head of Elite Development between February 2011 and July 2012. He was also part of the coaching staff at the FIFA U20 World Cup in Colombia in 2011, a competition in which Brian Eastick’s side reached the second round before being eliminated by Nigeria.