Middlesbrough favourite Stewart Downing takes academy coaching…….

Middlesbrough favourite

takes academy coaching role at Leeds United

Stewart Downing has taken up a coaching role at Leeds United within their academy.

The Middlesbrough favourite began coaching after retiring from playing at the conclusion of the 2020-21 season where he wrapped up his career at Blackburn Rovers. He’d spent some time coaching in Boro’s academy while studying for his coaching badges.

But he has this week been appointed an assistant coach for Leeds United’s under-21 team where he will work under U21 boss Scott Gardner. Confirmation of Downing’s arrival was made on Saturday as Gardner was confirmed as the Whites’ new boss U21 boss.

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Gardner was placed in temporary charge in November following the departure of boss Michael Skubala to Lincoln City, stepping up from his role with the U18s. Reacting on Instagram, Downing wrote: “It’s been a busy and enjoyable few days already but I’m looking forward to working with Leeds U21s for the rest of the season.”

A Leeds United statement said: “A former Academy graduate himself, Gardner has a number of years coaching experience with the Whites, having also played for the first team, as well as being capped at England youth level in his early career.

“In his previous role leading the Under-18s, Gardner oversaw the development of a number of players, who have now progressed into the Under-21s set-up, meaning he has plenty of familiar faces to continue working with.”

On top of his coaching, Stewart Downing has also done plenty of media work since hanging up his boots. He was working for BBC for the Aston Villa cup game a fortnight ago and then did the Chelsea game for BBC Radio Five Live. He’s set to be at Stamford Bridge for the second leg too.

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