Plymouth Argyle name ‘perfect candidate’ Ian Foster as new head coach

Photograph: Gustavo Garello/AP

Plymouth have named the former England Under-20 manager Ian Foster as their new head coach.

Foster had been working as Steven Gerrard’s No 2 at Saudi side Al-Ettifaq but replaces Steven Schumacher who departed for Stoke in December.

The former Liverpool academy player led England Under-19s to the European Championship title in 2022 and Plymouth, currently 18th of 24 clubs in the Championship, believe the 47-year-old is the man to bring stability to the club.

“He was the perfect candidate to lead our great football club forward as we embark on our next five-year mission,” Argyle’s chairman, Simon Hallett, said. “Ian showed a passion and knowledge for the club throughout the interview process, and showcased in some detail how he sees the best way to take forward our exciting and dynamic young squad.

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“Having worked with some of the best players this country has produced, he has a passion for developing young footballers, as well as playing expansive, attacking football which fits perfectly with how we want the club to progress.”

The director of football, Neil Dewsnip, and the assistant coach, Kevin Nancekivell, will remain part of Foster’s coaching team.

Foster’s playing career included spells with Hereford, Barrow and Chester, and he helped Kidderminster win promotion to the Football League in 2000. The former striker’s coaching career began in the League of Ireland where he guided Dundalk to the Europa League in 2010 before returning to England and roles with Coventry and Portsmouth.

In addition to acting as Phil Neville’s assistant with the Lionesses, Foster led England Under-20s in the 2023 World Cup, where they lost to Italy in the last 16. He left the Football Association in July to join Gerrard at Al-Ettifaq but has now turned his attention to an FA Cup third-round home tie against Sutton United on Saturday.


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