Brian Barry-Murphy has been appointed as Lead Coach of our EDS group in succession to Enzo Maresca following the Italian’s departure to take charge of Parma earlier this summer.
The 42-year-old Irishman enjoyed a highly successful near 20-year playing career, representing a host of clubs including Bury, Rochdale, Sheffield Wednesday and Preston North End.
The son of renowned Gaelic sports figure Jimmy Barry-Murphy, Brian also won two caps for the Republic of Ireland Under-21s.
Appointed as part of the coaching set-up at Rochdale in 2013 while still playing, Barry-Murphy was subsequently appointed as caretaker manager at the Spotland club in 2019 before being handed the role on a permanent basis.
He earned widespread praise for overseeing an attractive, possession-based brand of attacking football as well for his work in developing and encouraging young talent at the club before stepping down at the end of last month.
Brian will be assisted by Danny Walker who continues the role as assistant coach that he performed under Maresca last term, where he helped our EDS side secure a first-ever Premier League 2 title in impressive fashion.
Meanwhile, Ben Wilkinson will take charge of City’s Under 18s this season following Carlos Vicens’ switch earlier this summer to become part of Pep Guardiola’s first team coaching set-up.
Ben spent more than seven years at Sheffield Wednesday before joining City as Under-23 assistant coach in the summer of 2018.
After two years in that role, Ben then became Under-16 lead coach in the summer of 2020 and has now embarked on a new challenge overseeing our Under-18s, who – like our EDS – enjoyed a superb 2020/21 campaign, winning both the Under-18 Premier League North title and Under-18 Premier League national title.
Wilkinson’s assistant will be Calum McFarlane who moved to City last season from the Kinetic Football Academy. He will replace Darren Hughes who becomes the lead Under-16 coach.
Commenting on the new structure, Academy director Jason Wilcox said: “We are delighted to confirm Brian, Ben, Calum and Darren in their new roles which will further help us build on our Academy ethos of developing and nurturing exciting young footballers.
“We wish them all the very best of luck.”