First-team coach Richie Kyle is to leave his role at Blackpool to take up a position as a National Specialist coach with The FA and England.
The 33-year-old, who became one of the youngest English coaches to obtain a UEFA Pro Licence in 2016, will work alongside the national coaches in the men’s development teams at St George’s Park.
The news brings to an end a four-and-half-year association with Blackpool, which first started in July 2013 when he was appointed Head of Coaching.
While in charge of the youth team, Kyle led the under-18s to the North West Youth Alliance title in 2014 and oversaw the development of players like Bright Osayi-Samuel, Henry Cameron, Harrison McGahey, Mark Waddington and Dom Telford.
He stepped up to his current role with the first-team in 2015 and helped the club achieve promotion back to League One last season.
“First and foremost, I’m sad to be leaving the club because it has been a fantastic place for the development of my career,” Kyle said. “I’ve been here for four-and-a-half years and a lot has been achieved in that time with the youth team and first-team.
“There always comes a time in your career where you move on and this opportunity, working for your country, is one that you can’t turn down. I’m fortunate to have been given this opportunity and I feel that I’m leaving this club in a better place on the football side of things.
“I’ve known the gaffer here a long time and he did an incredible job last season in getting the club promoted, and you can see already how competitive we’ve been in League One. As a coach and a manager, I don’t there’s too many better in the business. I’m convinced he will take this club from strength to strength.”
Manager Gary Bowyer, who first worked with Richie Kyle at Blackburn Rovers, is full of praise for his departing first-team coach.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for Richie and one that we wish him every success with. He’s been a highly respected and popular coach at this club, who has excelled in roles with the youth team and first-team.
“He has an incredible work ethic and his skills and personality will be sorely missed on the training ground and in the dressing room. He’s proved an invaluable member of the coaching staff and I really do appreciate everything he has done for the club, players and myself.
“Though disappointed to see him go, I’ve always stressed the importance of development and this next step in his coaching career, working at national level, is one he fully deserves.”
Blackpool Chairman Karl Oyston echoed those sentiments and added:
“This opportunity is a great one for Richie and highlights the progression he has made while with the club. His contribution at both youth team level and first-team level has been very significant here at Bloomfield Road and I’m sure our supporters will join me in wishing him the greatest success in his new position.”
Richie Kyle’s final game in the dugout for Blackpool will be against Accrington Stanley in the Checkatrade Trophy tomorrow night.