By Amir Mir
Youth coach Kieran McKenna has joined Manchester United from Tottenham, it was announced on Thursday afternoon.
United confirmed on their official website that the 30-year-old takes on the role as their Under-18s coach.
Highly-rated coach McKenna replaces Paul McGuinness, who left his role in February, and is expected to begin his new job on Saturday when the youngsters take on Middlesbrough at home.
Boyhood United fan McKenna was at Old Trafford to witness Sir Alex Ferguson’s side lift the Premier League trophy in 1994, as he finally fulfils his dream of joining the Manchester club.
“To go to Manchester United, there is no bigger move you can make, it’s another fantastic Academy and it’s a dream come true really,” McKenna told the club’s official website. “I was a massive United fan, my dad brought me over to my first game in the 1994 season to see them lift the Premier League trophy.
“It’s been excellent. I’ve been here about a week now, getting to know the staff, the players and everyone in the building. Everyone has been very welcoming and it helps that I knew quite a few of the staff already and had a good relationship with some of the people here.
“I feel I’ve slotted in very quickly and the work with the boys on the grass has all gone extremely well so it’s been very smooth so far.”
A former midfielder McKenna was forced to retire in 2009 due to a consistent hip injury aged 23, but he now has the task of reviving a United academy that has slumped to 12 defeats in a row.
United have restructured their youth set-up this year and pursued Tottenham academy director John McDermott to spearhead the Old Trafford system before appointed Nicky Butt to the role.
Butt has been given overall responsibility for reviving the club’s struggling youth system amid fears it has slipped behind rivals Manchester City as well as the likes of Tottenham and Chelsea.
Butt, a member of United’s famed Class of ’92, has taken the job that Brian McClair vacated last year and is overseeing a revamp that was kickstarted in February with the departure of youth coach Paul McGuinness and followed with the exit of youth player recruitment chief Derek Langley.
Butt’s task is to try to restore United’s reputation for nurturing outstanding talent and aim to bridge the gap between the academy and the first team to ensure a steady flow of youngsters into the senior ranks.
In other Tottenham transfer news, Mauricio Pochettino has stepped in to ensure the club’s senior player signs a new contract.