Media reports yesterday suggested that Terry Burton will leave his position as Arsenal’s Head of Academy Coaching at the end of the season, with the 61 year old following Liam Brady in departing the club.
Burton was initially appointed as the club’s U21 and Head Development Coach following the promotion of Neil Banfield and Steve Bould to the first-team coaching staff in the summer of 2012. He impressed with his coaching methods, especially in the run to the Semi-Finals of the NextGen Series, but has played a less active part in the development of the youngsters since it was revealed last year that Brady was to leave.
Burton emerged as one of the key candidates to replace Brady, and, despite Steve Gatting taking over his duties as coach of the U21 side, Burton remained at the club, casting a keen eye over the development of the club’s youngsters and continuing to be of use in training sessions.
He was overlooked for the position, however, with the club eventually deciding to appoint current Wolfsburg assistant manager Andries Jonker as Brady’s replacement instead. Burton has subsequently elected to leave the club at the end of the campaign, which is something of a shame given his impressive coaching methods.
It will be especially interesting to see what implications Jonker’s arrival will have on the futures of U21 and U18 coaches Gatting and Carl Laraman, who, despite guiding their respective sides to the latter stages of cup competitions, have struggled for results in league matches.
It is quite possible that Jonker could orchestrate yet another overhaul of the Academy coaching staff, although not much will be known about the Dutchman’s intentions until he officially starts work on July 1st.