Cambridge United can today confirm that Mark Bonner will assume the role of First Team Coach vacated by Mick Halsall with immediate effect.
Mark moves up to the first team from his role as Academy Manager to assist Head Coach Shaun Derry and Assistant Head Coach Joe Dunne, as well as manage the transition of players from the Academy through to the senior team.
Mark will remain a key part within the Club’s Academy management team alongside Adam Bridgeford (Head of Academy Coaching), Tom Pell (Professional Phase Lead Coach) and Amy Ganderton (Academy Operations Manager) to continue the day to day organisation of the Academy.
Since first joining the Club back in June 2011, Mark has held a number of positions and played a fundamental role in the development of the Club’s Academy, managing it on two occasions and guiding the U’s through two audits in the process.
His new role will see him continue to work closely with the young players who have progressed through the Academy age groups, the youth team and earned a professional contract within the first team, such as Harry Darling, Leon Davies and Matthew Foy.
Cambridge United Head Coach Shaun Derry commented: “Mark’s appointment to First Team Coach is another positive move for the Club. Having lost Mick Halsall from the first team coaching group, we all felt it was right that Mark took the step up into a similar role.
“He brings excellent organisational skills that can help all of our coaches. He also has a massive desire to keep learning and his relationships with the young players that we are developing here will be pivotal moving forward.”
Head of Football Operations, Ben Strang added “Our Academy is very well regarded and is a credit to Mark and the other academy staff. We have some exciting prospects through all ages but we know that we must improve the transition of academy players in to our First Team. Mark’s progression in to this role will give us the best chance of successfully achieving this.
“Not only that but Mark himself is a highly talented and valued member of staff, who can add further value to Shaun and Joe in the first team. Similarly to our young players, our aim is to develop promising staff and this role is an exciting one for Mark.”