EDS & Academy

Brian Barry-Murphy: City is my perfect match!

New Elite Development Squad boss Brian Barry-Murphy believes his footballing philosophies and playing style align perfectly with those of Manchester City.

After over a decade of stellar service at Rochdale, initially as a player before becoming manager, the Irishman agreed to take the reins at the Academy Stadium this summer from the departing Enzo Maresca.


Barry-Murphy became a player-coach in 2013, before taking on the managerial vacancy at the Crown Oil Arena in 2019 and, during his time in the hotseat, the club gained a reputation for their attractive brand of possession-based football.

Dale also provided an environment in which younger players were given a platform to learn their craft and thrive on the senior stage, including former City loanees Gavin Bazunu and Yeboah Amankwah in recent years.

With this in mind, our new EDS boss feels that City is the best place for him to continue honing his trade and nurture the next generation of talent.

He declared: “A big influence (on me joining) was the people I knew who worked here.

“Like Gav (Bazunu) and Yeboah (Amankwah), you build that relationship with people at the Club who I suppose are the very fabric of the Academy.


“I’ve known Jason (Wilcox), the Academy Director, for a long time in a different capacity because I was looking after the players and developing that relationship.

“When you see you’re aligned and have similar beliefs in terms of player development and style of play, I got a real sense of being valued by the people here.

“And that goes both ways, it was probably one of the major attractions of being able to work in this environment.”

After beginning his playing career in his native Ireland at Cork City, Barry-Murphy got his first taste of English football at Preston North End at the turn of the millennium, also representing Sheffield Wednesday, Bury and Rochdale across a 20-year playing career.

Our new EDS manager insists that, even during his early years in the game at Deepdale, he always considered City to be a place where youngsters were given a clear pathway to the first team.

And the 43-year-old is delighted to now be able to play a part in that development.

“From my very first years in the UK going back to Platt Lane, Manchester City were always synonymous with producing players of amazing potential from the academy,” he reflected.

“Even when the club wasn’t having the same success that it now is, it’s always had that mystique as being a brilliant club for producing homegrown talent.

“It’s hugely exciting to be a part of that now. It’s hard to have expectations of where things are going but it gives me that really exciting feeling and I’m honoured to be a part of this.”

Looking ahead to the new season, Barry-Murphy is hoping to emulate the recent success of our EDS, who claimed a maiden Premier League 2 title during the 2020-21 campaign.

While our new manager believes success on the pitch often goes hand in hand with player development, he insists that helping our young blues thrive is his main priority.

“I think wherever development is going on there’ll be winning.

“The players here will have an insatiable appetite to be winners and that was demonstrated last year by the success the team has in PL2.

“In the years before, despite league position there still would’ve been great success in terms of the players that’ve been provided to the first team environment.

"That is ultimately the aim of the club. What I’ve seen of the player so far, there is that desire to be the best they can be.”