By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Will Keane has paid tribute to the huge influence Manchester United youth coach Paul McGuinness has had on his career.
The Premier League giants announced on Friday night that McGuinness, himself a United academy product and son of former United manager Wilf McGuinness, is ending a 28-year-old association with the club.
Keane, 23, who was a member of the United team who won the FA Youth Cup in 2011 alongside Jesse Lingard, took to social media site Instagram on Monday night to reveal his gratitude to McGuinness.
Keane wrote: “Sad to see Paul Mcguinness leave the club. Massive thanks to him for all the help he’s given me over the years. Wishing him all the best in the future. Here’s a memory we’ll always remember!”
The Academy graduate, who was in the senior squad that lost 2-1 to Sunderland last Saturday, uploaded a picture of the 2011 Youth Cup winners.
More changes are imminent at Old Trafford after United chiefs completed a root-and-branch review of their Academy.
Youth player recruitment chief Derek Langley is also set to leave the club. Football Insider revealed on Friday night that Class of ’92 graduate Chris Casper is in advanced talks to replace him.
McGuinness has been in charge of the under-18s since 2005 but has seen a dramatic slump in standards, with his side bottom of the Premier League’s under-18 North Division with only 11 points from 19 matches this season.
In a statement released via the club, McGuinness said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to follow in my father Wilf’s footsteps and to serve Manchester United in a variety of roles for a total of 28 years.
“I have dedicated my life to each job, from player to education and welfare officer, to Centre of Excellence director and scout, assistant academy director for under-9s to under-16s and later under-17s to under-21s, head coach for the professional development phase and finally youth-team coach.”