The Manchester United connection at Class of 92-owned Salford City has grown with a former Old Trafford coach appointed to a new role at the club.
After winning promotion to the Football League the Ammies have launched their first development squad, with Warren Joyce appointed coach.
The 54-year-old spent eight years as manager of United’s reserves and from 2008 to 2016 he had a hand in the development of Paul Pogba , Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Danny Welbeck, Tom Heaton and Jonny Evans.
They were more than 150 applicants for the role, but Joyce’s track record of developing players was crucial.
After spells in charge of Wigan Athletic and Melbourne City, Joyce is excited by the new opportunity at Salford City, ahead of the club’s debut season in League Two.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge, it’s a different challenge and I’m relishing the opportunity to work here,” he said.
Man Utd tour latest news
“Obviously you’re starting off afresh, it’s a different challenge to start from near enough a blank piece of paper. The club, the management and the owners have done fantastically well in the last few years to get to where they’ve got and they don’t want to stop here. Part of it is providing pathways for young players to come through, and local kids to get through to the first team.
“I’ve enjoyed that aspect over a number of years and I’m looking forward to helping people maximise their talent.”
Salford City’s sporting director Chris Casper, himself a United academy graduate, believes the development squad can bridge the gap to the first team.
“It’s the next part of the club, I’d say it’s kind of a bridging squad between the academy and the first team, so lads who have come through the academy, they’ve got a place and a time that they can develop,” he said.
“That’s the vision of the club moving forward, to develop our own players as much as possible, give them an opportunity, and that’s the way the club is set up so this is the next part of being able to do that.
“Warren’s got vast experience of developing players, working with young players, he’s got a real good way with them, he understands what it takes not just technically and physically, but mentally as well.”