Terry Burton is set to replace Liam Brady as the head of Arsenal’s youth development after the Irishman’s decision to leave the post by the end of next season was revealed last week.
Burton, who joined the club as U21 coach at the start of the season, is in line to be appointed to the position, the tasks for which involve making decisions about the club’s intake of scholars each season, with Steve Gatting, in turn, poised to become the club’s coach at U21 level. Carl Laraman, who has coached at Hale End for several years, will step up to coach the U18s.
Burton has impressed since being appointed the club’s U21 coach last summer, guiding Arsenal’s second-string into the Elite Round in the inaugural U21 Premier League season, whilst also helping to steer the NextGen side through a difficult group to set up a glamour tie with holders Inter Milan in the quarter-finals of that competition next month.
It is not currently clear whether the changes will take place with immediate effect, or if they will occur in the summer, but the shake-up comes just months after Gatting replaced Pat Holland as U18 coach. Holland himself had only been in the post for a matter of months following the decision to promote Neil Banfield and Steve Bould to the first-team coaching staff.
Following Brady’s decision to leave the position which he has held since 1996, it was speculated that the club may seek to approach a former player, such as Dennis Bergkamp or Tony Adams, to replace him. However, it appears the club have opted for an internal appointment in Burton, who himself came through the club’s youth system before going on to coach Wimbledon, and assuming various technical roles at Watford, Cardiff City, West Bromwich Albion and, most recently, Sheffield Wednesday.