Jim Magilton leads new look Northern Ireland U-21 management team

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neil and U-21 boss Jim Magilton
Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neil and U-21 boss Jim Magilton

Former Northern Ireland Internationals Jim Magilton, Damien Johnson, Kevin Horlock and ex Wales International goalkeeper, Mark Crossley have been appointed as the new management team of the Northern Ireland Under 21 squad.

Magilton, who took on the role of manager at the end of the last campaign, will continue in this position, with Horlock and Johnson as assistant coaches and Crossley as goalkeeping coach.

Magilton, who is currently the Irish FA’s Elite Performance Director was capped 52 times for his country.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill said: “I am delighted to have Jim Magilton in charge of the very important Under 21 squad and I feel that given Damien, Kevin and Mark’s experience, they will be perfect role models for these young players to assist them in their football careers.”

Jim Magilton said: “I was in charge of the Under 21s at the end of the last campaign and am excited by the prospect of working with this group over the next two years, and I hope that with this backroom team on board together we can play a role in helping some of these players make the step up to the senior international side.”

Horlock, who joined the Under 21 coaching staff in 2013, won 32 international caps.

He made his senior debut on 26 April 1995 in a European Qualifier away to Latvia; with his last game being on 16 October 2002 in a European Qualifier at home against Ukraine.

Johnson who is currently working as a coach at Blackburn Rovers Academy, won 56 caps for Northern Ireland.

He made his senior international debut on 29 May 1999 in an international challenge match away to the Republic of Ireland; with his last appearance for Northern Ireland being on 14 October 2009 in a World Cup Qualifier away to the Czech Republic.

Damien Johnson added: “I am honoured to have this opportunity to play a part in developing young players for the senior international team and I am looking forward to working with the backroom team.

Crossley, who joined the Northern Ireland Under 21 set-up in 2014 will continue in his role as goalkeeping coach.

Northern Ireland kick-off their 2017 UEFA European Under 21 Championship qualifying campaign with a home game against Scotland (September 5) and an away game against Iceland (September 8).