Former Cobblers boss Aidy Boothroyd is back in football after being named a ‘national coach’ by the Football Association.
The FA announced the appointment today, and Boothroyd will report into England Under-21s head coach Gareth Southgate and The FA’s director of elite development Dan Ashworth.
He takes up the role with immediate effect.
Boothroyd’s first assignment will be to join up with Noel Blake’s England Under-19s side as they prepare to take on Turkey in Chester this Wednesday.
“I’m excited by this opportunity,” said Boothroyd, who was sacked as Cobblers boss on December 21 last year.
“Youth development is where it all began for me and I have taken on aspects of that into my management - that love of coaching and developing players has kept going.
“At Watford, I helped bring through players like Ashley Young and Ben Foster early in their careers, and more recently, I had Saido Berahino when I was Northampton Town manager - I have always wanted to bring young players through.”
Boothroyd also handed teenager Lewis Hornby a regular start in the Cobblers midfield, and gave players such as Dean Snedker, David Moyo and Ivan Toney their first team debuts.
Southgate said: “We are delighted to have Aidy on board as a national coach.
“He joins the organisation with a wealth of coaching and management experience in both the Premier League and Football League and a strong background in developing young players.
“Aidy will join up with Noel Blake’s U19s team next week, through to the end of their season, when he will lead our new U20s programme after the Toulon Tournament this summer.
“Aidy will add great qualities to our team of national coaches and I know he is looking forward to coaching to the philosophy of play which we are in the process of implementing.”
Ashworth added: “I’m delighted with the appointment of Aidy, he’s an outstanding coach of younger players and has a fantastic record of developing youth.
“We are very fortunate that we have got some excellent coaches at the top end of our youth development programme as the players make that transition from youth players to Premier and Football League footballers.”
Boothroyd won’t be taking charge of the U20s for this summer’s Toulon Tournament, which Southgate will be leading in May.
The 43-year-old joins The FA after a coaching career that started at Peterborough United in the club’s academy.
Following on from spells at Norwich City and West Bromwich Albion, he became first-team coach at Leeds United in 2004 before going into management in 2005 with spells at Watford, Colchester United, Coventry City and most recently the Cobblers.
His time as manager at Sixfields started well, and he saved the club from relegation in the 2011/12 season, having taken over from Gary Johnson in November, 2011.
Boothroyd then led the Cobblers to the league two play-off final in his first full season in charge, but the team lost 3-0 to Bradford City in the final at Wembley.
The current season then started badly, and he was sacked as manager following a 4-1 home defeat to Wycombe Wanderers on December 21, a result that saw the Cobblers drop to the bottom of Sky Bet League Two.
As a player, the Bradford-born Boothroyd was a defender who represented Huddersfield Town, Bristol Rovers, Hearts, Mansfield Town and Peterborough United, where he was forced to retire early through injury.