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EMPICS Sport McGuinness' U18 team has struggled this season.
# Parting ways
Paul McGuinness leaves Man United after 23 years working with the club's academy
He oversaw the development of some of the club’s finest players.

ONE OF MANCHESTER United’s longest-serving coaches has left Old Trafford after 23 years overseeing the development of the club’s academy players.

Paul McGuinness, the son of former United player and manager Wilf, has this evening confirmed his decision to leave his post ‘to pursue other ambitions in football.’

The 49-year-old joined the club’s academy staff in 1992 and has held a number of roles. He was the club’s U18 coach since 2005.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to follow in my father Wilf’s footsteps and to serve Manchester United in a variety of roles for a total of 28 years,” a statement read.

“I have dedicated my life to each job, from player to education and welfare officer, to Centre of Excellence director and scout, assistant academy director for under-9s to under-16s and later under-17s to under-21s, head coach for the professional development phase and finally youth-team coach.

“I will be forever grateful to Sir Alex Ferguson for making my dreams come true and inviting me to represent Manchester United as a player and for the last 23 years as a proud member of staff.”

Media reports in England suggested McGuinness was being sacked by the club in a review of their academy structure. The head of the academy, Brian McClair, left last summer.

However, McGuinness’ statement contradicts those claims as he insists leaving is his own decision.

“I have learned a great deal by working with Sir Alex and so many special Manchester United people over the years, especially my mentors Eric Harrison, Jim Ryan and Tony Whelan.

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“I have so many incredible memories, particularly the FA Youth Cup win in 2011 and being asked to be part of the Munich memorial service in 2008, but I have especially enjoyed working behind the scenes with devoted colleagues, nurturing and coaching young players to reach their potential.

“To have seen 86 Academy players develop to make their debut for the first team and 23 to become full internationals has been thoroughly rewarding.

“I now have other ambitions I would like to fulfil in football that I can only experience outside the club.”

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