Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth believes a recent reshuffle in the Magpies academy setup can help young players ‘make the next step’ to a senior level.
Ben Dawson has been overseeing matters at Under-21s level following the departure of Elliott Dickman last month and the academy stalwart will now front up a new coaching team with United’s second string.
In a statement released on Thursday, the Magpies confirmed Dawson - who is currently first team development coach - will continue to work closely with Eddie Howe in a move they believe will bring ‘club’s first team and Academy even closer together and enhancing the club’s talent pathway’.
Ashworth told nufc.co.uk: “Ben is an outstanding coach. He understands the Newcastle United DNA and he knows better than anyone what is required for players to make the step into Eddie Howe’s first team squad.
“It’s brilliant for the club and our young players that we have someone so aligned with the first team that can help our young players make that next step.”
Dawson will be assisted by Neil Winskill, who leaves his role as the academy Head of Coach Development and become Professional Development Coach/Lead.
Dawson said of his new role: “I’m delighted to be given the opportunity and responsibility of leading the under-21s once again and hope that my recent experiences with the first team can help align the professional development phase to the first team.
“Covering the role alongside Neil on an interim basis has allowed me to see the significant and positive changes that have happened at the Academy and evidence how rapidly the club is progressing across all departments. I’m looking forward to putting into practice what I’ve learned during my time with the first team.”
United have also confirmed the appointment of Winskill’s successor as Head of Coach Development is ‘still ongoing and will be announced in due course’.