Manchester United are famous for bringing through quality young players into their first team and a big part of this success has to be attributed to the high calibre of managers and coaches who have worked with the young prospects. United have enjoyed stability and consistency in their reserve set-up as manager Warren Joyce has been in the role since 2008. Joyce managed United’s feeder club Royal Antwerp of Belgium from 2006-2008 before he came to join Ole Gunnar-Solskaer as co-manager of the reserves back in 2008 and has had the role on his own since Solskaer left in 2011.
Joyce enjoyed a long career on the field as he played for Bolton Wanderers, Preston North End, Plymouth Argyle, Burnley and Hull City during a 19 year playing career where he acquired the nickname “psycho” due to his unrivalled commitment to the team’s cause. He was appointed to his first management role at Hull City when in 1998 he became the Tigers’ player manager – a role he held for 2 years before being released in favour of a more experienced manager despite keeping the then struggling Hull side in the Football League.
It was 2006 before Manchester United recognised his potential and appointed Joyce as the manager of Royal Antwerp. Manchester United clearly hold Joyce in high regard as he held onto the position of Reserve team manager despite the recent changes in the club’s first team manager but the association between the two has now come to an end. Championship strugglers Wigan Athletic fired their manager Gary Caldwel last week and today have appointed Warren Joyce as their new manager on a 3 and a half year deal. Joyce will take control of the Latics for the first time this weekend as Wigan face Reading in the League and he will be looking to move his new club out of the relegation places where they currently sit.
Although United will be disappointed to lose the 51 year old, it might not be the last time Joyce works with United as he could still end up working for the Red-Devils in the future. The new Wigan boss could yet return to United as an assistant manager or in a number of other positions but for now the club will wish him well and be grateful for the 10 year association they have enjoyed with him and the key role he has played in the development of many Manchester United players both past and present.