English football’s very own Kevin Betsy has been named as the new Arsenal Under-23 head coach.
Betsy made his name as a winger at Barnsley, Wycombe and Bristol City. His coaching career has developed in the England FA set up since 2016, with the England U18 job being his last duties.
Betsy will succeed Steve Bould, who left Arsenal at the end of last season.
“Kevin Betsy has joined as our new under-23 head coach,” Arsenal wrote on Tuesday.
Arsenal's full statement from the club's website:
"Kevin, who started his coaching career at the Fulham's Academy, joins us from the Football Association, where he spent the past five years working in key roles with England Youth teams across multiple age categories, eventually becoming England Under-18s Head Coach in September 2020.
"Before becoming a coach, Kevin enjoyed an 18 year-long playing career, making over 400 appearances in English league football. During his playing days, Kevin gained promotion from each of the four league divisions during spells with clubs which included Barnsley, Bristol City, Oldham Athletic, Southend United, Woking and Wycombe Wanderers. Most notably, he was part of the Fulham side which won promotion from League One and the Championship, featuring in the Premier League in the early 2000s.
"Academy Manager Per Mertesacker said: “We are extremely delighted that we have recruited through our interview process such a high profile candidate as Kevin Betsy. Kevin joins us from his current position as the Under-18s Head Coach for England. He has had very strong experiences through academy and youth football, and has a wealth of knowledge and ability.
“We are excited that Kevin will drive us to continue to deliver on our vision to develop and build ‘Strong Young Gunners’. Kevin has proved in his coaching career that he will be a colleague who can contribute strongly to our players’ development pathway by leading our Under-23s team, including our staff and players.
“We are incredibly pleased that Kevin is joining us and we discovered throughout the interview and recruitment process that Kevin is excited and passionate about joining the Club and our Academy.”
"Kevin Betsy said: “It’s an honour and privilege to be joining Arsenal as Under-23s Head Coach. Arsenal is of course an iconic club in world football with such a rich history. This is also a club with a very strong current record of developing young football players for the highest level, but also placing an emphasis on producing well-rounded young people.
“I’ve had a tremendous five years working with the Football Association in vital roles across the England youth teams. During this time I’ve worked with many hugely talented young players and some amazing colleagues in a wide range of departments. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the FA and in particular Technical Director John McDermott for allowing me to take this opportunity and making my transition into Arsenal so smooth.
“Throughout my recruitment process, I’ve had some extremely positive discussions with Per Mertesacker, Luke Hobbs and senior management at Arsenal, which has made my decision to come to the club even easier.
“My work starts here and together with the talented people at this club, we aim to continue the strong work of providing the pipeline of talent to support the first team, whilst at the same time instilling the values and traditions of this football club, so that young players are ready for life as well as football.”
"Welcome to Arsenal, Kevin," the brief ended.
Coming up next for the Gunners senior side is a preseason friendly against North London nemesis Tottenham Hotspur.