CHADWICK APPOINTED CAMBRIDGE UNITED FOUNDATION PHASE LEAD COACH
Cambridge United have appointed Luke Chadwick as the Academy's new Foundation Phase Lead Coach.
The former Manchester United and U's midfielder will join the club's expert team of coaches, taking over from Adam Bridgeford who previously held the position but has progressed on to become the Academy's Head of Coaching.
Chadwick, who has coached as part of Cambridge United's Futsal Scholarship scheme and Development Centre programme across the last 12 months, will be responsible for players within the club's youngest schoolboy age groups, between the pre-academy and Under 12's age brackets.
The new full-time role brings an end to Chadwick's 17-year playing career, which saw him rack up 460 appearances that included spells with Manchester United, West Ham, Norwich City and MK Dons, before completing his professional career with Cambridge United in 2014/15, having helped the U's to promotion back to the Football League on loan.
Commenting on the appointment, the 35-year old said: "I'm absolutely delighted and it's great to come back to the club that I've supported and love to have such an important job coaching young players within the Academy.
"I look forward to working closely with the players between the pre-academy and Under 12 age groups, and aiding them on to the next stage of their development.
"As a fan, player and now a coach, there is nothing better than seeing young players come through the system. It means so much to this football club and gives everybody around the place, from the board, staff, players and the fans, a big lift."
"The club has some hugely experienced coaches and I can't wait to learn as much as I can from them. They will certainly support me through the transition into the job, by lending me their advice and expertise."
Discussing the experience gained from coaching and representing the U's at futsal in the last year, he continued: "The experience of helping out Ross Brooks with the club's futsal programme will be a massive benefit moving forward into this new role.
"It gave me the opportunity to coach a varying number of age groups, which has held me in good stead. I can now build on that by working with Academy players.
"The philosophy behind it will remain the same. It is important to develop the player's social, psychological, physical and technical development, because it's a really special time in their lives. It will be great to be a part of that."
Meanwhile Academy Manager Mark Bonner added: "We are pleased to have Luke confirmed in the role following an exhaustive selection process with over 200 applications for the job. Luke is a perfect fit through his connection with the club, his desire to begin a career in coaching, and his enthusiasm for the role.
"Whilst developing players is paramount to the Academy, one of our aims is to develop staff from within the club. Whilst we never shut the door on external appointments, coaches connected to the club begin with a deep understanding of the core values of Cambridge United."
He added: “Luke has worked impressively in the past 18 months through a number of his qualifications and has shown that post playing, he has a commitment to upskill, learn and develop as a coach, working in the tireless and enthusiastic manner that's required.
“We look forward to supporting Luke in this new venture and have a support structure in place now that should enable him to slide into the role and develop within our environment. We know Luke's playing career and experience will bring huge value to the academy and believe this is a great appointment as we strive to improve in the years ahead.”