Manchester United first-team coach Kieran McKenna has been appointed manager of League One outfit Ipswich Town.
McKenna – who was part of Jose Mourinho’s staff at Old Trafford, where he was also a prominent member of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team – has signed a three-and-a-half-year contract as Paul Cook’s successor.
Promoted from his role as Under-18s coach by former United boss Mourinho before working with Solskjaer and more recently interim manager Ralf Rangnick, McKenna will be joined by Red Devils coach Martyn Pert as his assistant.
“It has been a great honour to work for Manchester United for the last five years. When I arrived as Under-18s lead coach in 2016, I had the privilege to work within a world-leading youth development system, coaching excellent talent in a truly fantastic environment,” the 35-year-old Northern Irishman said via United’s website.
“I’ll always be grateful to Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. I have learnt so much during the past four years and it was a pleasure to be part of such a dedicated group of staff. I would like to thank Ralf Rangnick, I have really enjoyed the short time I have worked with him and I really appreciate his understanding throughout this process.
Welcome to #itfc, Kieran.
— Ipswich Town FC (@IpswichTown) December 16, 2021
“From the start of my coaching career, it has always been my ultimate ambition to move into football management and I now have a fantastic opportunity to do that at Ipswich Town, an amazing club with a fantastic history.
“I want to thank the staff and players that I have worked with over the years and, of course, wish Ralf and this incredible club all the best for the future.”
Ipswich are 12th in League One – the third tier of English football – after 22 rounds, nine points adrift of the promotion places.
“I’d like to thank Mark Ashton and the owners for putting their faith in me and Martyn to take the club forward,” Kieran told Ipswich’s website.
“Leaving a club like Manchester United was obviously a difficult decision, but I strongly believe in the opportunity to build something here.
“It feels like the right time, project and club to make my first step into first-team management.
“For now, the focus for the team has to be on a huge game on Saturday. After that, I cannot wait to meet everyone and get to work.”