Neil Critchley leaves LFC Academy to take up Blackpool manager role

Neil Critchley, the Under 23 coach at Liverpool twice thrust into the first team spotlight this season, has been appointed as Blackpool head coach.

The 41 year old takes over at the Seasiders on a two year deal.  The club are currently safe in mid-table in League One.

Critchley took charge of two Liverpool games this season - the League Cup Quarter Final away at Aston Villa when the reds senior team were in Qatar.  And then again last month his young Liverpool side beat Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup at Anfield - the first team were away due to the Premier League's inaugural winter break.

Neil joined Liverpool in September 2013 - initially taking on the role managing the U18's squad.

He had joined the club from Crewe, were he was Academy Director.

The new comes a day before many of his U23 players are set to be involved in an FA Cup clash away at Chelsea.

The Blackpool owner Simon Sadler said:

"Neil is a highly-regarded coach who impressed us with his thorough preparation and analysis of the team.

“We want this Club to represent the town and community by playing entertaining football, working hard and being organised. We firmly believe that Neil can deliver this and lay down the blueprint for our footballing philosophy."

Neil himself thanked Liverpool for his time at the club, while expressing his excitement at the job ahead:

“I am absolutely delighted to join Blackpool. The trust and faith that has been shown in me from Simon and Ben gives me a very special feeling inside. I can’t wait to get started, I’m really looking forward to the weeks and months ahead, meeting the players, working on the grass, developing the team and meeting some of the supporters.

“The time I’ve had at Liverpool has been truly special. I’ve been incredibly well supported there from Alex Inglethorpe, the Academy Manager, and all the staff. It’s a truly special football club and it’s the people that make the football club the place that it is. It would have had to have taken something equally as special, if not more, for me to even think about leaving.

“But from the conversations I’ve had here, I got a really good feeling about the people, where they want the Club to go and how they want it to grow.”

We wish Neil all the best in his new first team management role.

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