Who is Justin Cochrane? The favourite to be next England Under-21s manager

Frank Lampard and Eddie Howe among the favourites to replace Aidy Boothroyd
Justin Cochrane, left, started his coaching career at Tottenham Hotspur.Justin Cochrane, left, started his coaching career at Tottenham Hotspur.
Justin Cochrane, left, started his coaching career at Tottenham Hotspur.

Aidy Boothroyd is leaving his role as England Under-21 manager, the Football Association has announced.

The FA will now begin the hunt for a successor to Boothroyd, with Justin Cochrane the odds-on favourite with bookmakers.

Who is Justin Cochrane?

Aidy Boothroyd is stepping down as England U21 manager.Aidy Boothroyd is stepping down as England U21 manager.
Aidy Boothroyd is stepping down as England U21 manager.

Cochrane, 39, is head coach for England Under-17s.

He played mainly in the lower leagues and non-league before turning to coaching.

He started his playing career at QPR but made just one appearance for the first team and was sent off in the same game. He had spells at Hayes and Yeading, Crewe Alexandra, Rotherham United, Millwall, Aldershot Town and Boreham Wood.

He was capped 14 times at international level by Antigua and Barbuda.

Cochrane's first coaching job was as a youth team coach at Tottenham Hotspur. He was appointed England Under-15s coach in 2018 and then moved up to U16s the following year.

In September 2020 he was appointed England U17s head coach as well as lead for the Youth Development Phase.

England U21s next manager odds

Cochrane is the favourite, priced at 4/9 by Paddy Power.

Other names on the shortlist are: Frank Lampard 4/1; Eddie Howe 8/1; Chris Wilder 10/1; Phil Neville 12/1; Gary Neville 12/1; John Terry, Ian Foster, Danny Cowley 14/1;Michael Carrick 16/1; Nicky Butt 18/1; Scott Parker 20/1.

Why has Aidy Boothroyd left England Under-21s manager job?

Boothroyd’s future had been in doubt after the Young Lions’ early exit from Euro 2021 and his contract was due to expire in the summer.

He took the job permanently in 2017 and guided the Young Lions to the semi-finals of the European Championship in Poland, losing to Germany on penalties in the semi-finals.

Two years later, in Italy and San Marino, England failed to get out of the group – losing to France and Romania and drawing with Croatia.

Last month the Young Lions were knocked out in the group stages of Euro 2021 in Hungary and Slovenia.

What did Aidy Boothroyd say?

Boothroyd said: “It’s been the greatest privilege to represent the FA and lead England teams into high-profile tournaments.

“While we didn’t finish in the way we wanted, I’m very proud to have been able to work so closely with players who I know will go on to have remarkable international careers and to have experienced some very special moments with them over the years.

“I’d like to thank my staff and all of the incredible support team that have done so much to help us remain competitive against other elite nations.

“In every single get-together they embraced our unique challenge of rightly prioritising the needs of the senior team while ensuring we gave our all to try and get a positive performance and result.”

What has Gareth Southgate said?

England head coach Southgate, who worked closely with Boothroyd after he had replaced him as U21s manager, said: “I’d like to thank Aidy for his wholehearted support and dedication to developing English players and coaches across the last seven years.

“His pride in working with all of our development teams has shone through and his support of the senior team has been greatly appreciated. I wish him every success on the next step of his career.”