England U19s and U20s managers, Paul Simpson and Keith Downing, leave FA roles with immediate effect to become joint assistants to Holden
Last Updated: 10/08/20 6:26pm
Bristol City have appointed Dean Holden as their new head coach.
Holden, who was assistant to former City head coach Lee Johnson, was offered the position and had been considering the proposal over the weekend.
England U19s and U20s managers, Paul Simpson and Keith Downing, have both left their roles with the FA with immediate effect, to become joint assistant head coaches under new boss Holden.
The pair were amongst the most successful in the history of England’s junior age groups. Simpson won the U20 World Cup In South Korea three years ago, whilst Downing oversaw England’s U19s winning the European Championships in the same summer.
Junior age group coaches at St George’s Park have been told their jobs are at risk, as the FA looks to make huge savings to cover the £300m black hole in revenues brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
Johnson was sacked after a 1-0 defeat to Severnside rivals Cardiff in July, following a run of nine games without a victory. Holden was placed in temporary charge of the Robins while the Sky Bet Championship club searched for a new manager.
Holden has previously taken first-team charge of five games for City and also enjoyed a spell of 15 matches managing former club Oldham Athletic from February to May 2015, where he took over from Johnson at Boundary Park at the time.
Speaking prior to City’s 3-1 win away at Middlesbrough towards the end of the Championship season, Holden was coy about the possibility of taking charge on a full-time basis at Ashton Gate.
“While I would like a shot at management at some point in my career, my only thought now is to put smiles on the faces of our supporters,” he said.
“It is not about me at the moment. It is about ending the season as strongly as possible.”
Johnson guided his team to 17th, 11th and eighth in the previous three Championship seasons, but after challenging for the play-off positions earlier in the 2019/20 campaign, City recorded a 12th-placed finish.
Sky Sports News has reported that former Brighton and Newcastle boss Chris Hughton held talks with City over the vacant position at the club.