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Man Utd appoint former Liverpool fitness coach as deputy football director

Manchester United have appointed one of Jurgen Klopp’s former fitness coaches at Liverpool as deputy football director amid the latest wave of structural changes at Old Trafford.

Andy O’Boyle arrives at United from the Premier League, where he has spent the last five years as head of elite performance responsible for advising clubs on talent identification and recruitment, performance analysis, sports science and medicine, psychology and loan management.

He will report directly to United’s increasingly influential football director, John Murtough.

It is anticipated that O’Boyle’s arrival will free up around two-thirds of Murtough’s week by removing much of the day-to-day bureaucracy that at present comes across his desk and enable him to narrow his focus on the first team and the critical issue of recruitment as moves to reshape the squad under new manager Erik ten Hag intensify.

Prior to joining the Premier League, O’Boyle was at Liverpool for almost six years, initially as head of fitness elite development before becoming a first team fitness coach when Klopp took over as manager in October 2015.

A lifelong United fan who played at one of the club’s centres of excellence in his native Northern Ireland as a youngster, O’Boyle briefly worked as a coach in United’s academy 16 years ago.

He is due to complete his Uefa pro coaching licence this summer and is also working towards a doctorate having already achieved a masters in sports science. O’Boyle spent three years as head of sports science at Coventry between 2008 and 2011.

Murtough ran an exhaustive interview process and wanted a multifaceted candidate with strong football knowledge who was comfortable working across a variety of areas.

With nine direct reports across an array of departments, there have been concerns about Murtough being too thinly spread but O’Boyle’s arrival will significantly lighten his load and enable him to focus much more heavily on recruitment. That will be further facilitated by the planned appointment this summer of a head of women’s football.

“We are delighted to welcome Andy back to Manchester United to take up this important role in the club’s leadership,” Murtough said. “Andy has experience across all technical areas of football, from fitness and sports science to scouting and recruitment.

“This will make him a valuable addition to my team at Carrington as we continue to strengthen leadership and strategic planning across all our football activities.”

O’Boyle – who was also at the heart of the Premier League’s response to the challenges presented by Covid – said: “I am thrilled to be rejoining Manchester United at such an exciting time for the club, as the first team prepares for a fresh start under Erik ten Hag, and the academy and women’s teams go from strength to strength.”

United have been undergoing significant structural change since Ed Woodward left at the end of January and Richard Arnold took over as chief executive.

Senior scouts Jim Lawlor and Marcel Bout have gone and United’s director of negotiations Matt Judge is serving his notice period after deciding to leave the club.

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