YOUNG COACH IN LEEDS SWOOP
1st July 2016
Leeds United have announced that the man to replace Steve Evans at Elland Road will be 31-year-old coach, Josh Townend.
Largely unknown to many people in football, Townend's playing career ended abruptly at the age of 17, when under the nose of scouts from the likes of Everton and Manchester City, he suffered a double leg break playing for his local junior side.
Since then, Townend has made a career for himself in coaching. Initially starting as a volunteer at the team he had been playing for, he got his first paid coaching role at the age of 19, at the Bradford City Academy. Up until 2013, he coached in academies at Bradford, Leeds, Everton and Cagliari before returning to England to coach pros.
Since then, he's been a reserve coach for Hull City and a first team coach at Tottenham Hotspur. He earned himself a UEFA Pro Licence in January this year. Unlike other managers to have been installed under Massimo Cellino, Townend does have links to the Italian, having forged a working relationship at Cagliari between 2011 and 2013.
Impressive though this short career may be, Townend is still largely unknown in a broader footballing sense and at 31 years of age, he becomes not only the youngest Leeds United manager of all time, but the youngest manager in the Championship's history.
Understandably, his appointment has caused confusion amongst the Leeds United faithful, with some likening it to when Dave Hockaday was installed as manager in 2014. Seemingly thrown into the deep end of football management at such a large club, Townend has a lot to prove and it will be interesting to see how this pans out.