Mike Phelan to continue Mariners role during United stint

Mike Phelan will take on a dual role as Manchester United coach and Central Coast Mariners sporting director over the coming months.

Former Hull City manager Mike Phelan has returned to Old Trafford as first team coach.   -  Getty Images

Central Coast Mariners sporting director Mike Phelan has reaffirmed his commitment to the A-League club despite taking on a temporary role as Manchester United first team coach.

Phelan, who played for United and served the club as a coach for several years under Sir Alex Ferguson, has returned to Old Trafford as part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's backroom staff following the former favourite's appointment as interim manager.

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But while Molde haS confirmed it expects Solskjaer to head back to Norway as head coach at the end of the Premier League season, Phelan will continue his work in a senior position with the Mariners throughout the coming months.

Phelan admits his dual commitments may provide "a small distraction", but he insists the Mariners can benefit from the link with United.

"Taking on a temporary coaching role at Manchester United is extremely exciting," Phelan said in a statement as the Mariners endorsed the move. "It's also a really positive step for the Mariners to have a direct link with Manchester United as I will continue my role as sporting director.

"I'm still a Mariner. I've put something in place that I want to see through. This might be a small distraction, but it's with one of the biggest clubs in the world that I simply couldn't turn down.

Mike Phelan was Hull City manager for the first part of the 2016-17 season.

 

"I was offered the opportunity at the Mariners to pass on my experiences and wisdom in order to develop the football club back into the football club that it once was. A football club that produces players for the Mariners and beyond.

"It's an exciting project. That's my remit and we've put a structure in place with full time academy coaches that will ensure that we are prepared for success.

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"Part of the discussion with Manchester United was that I will still be available for the Mariners. This is a dual role. I will take the first opportunity possible to get back to the Central Coast. I'm not going anywhere, I am one phone call away from anyone at the Mariners.

"I will be back on the Central Coast as soon as I can. There's obviously a few issues to sort through at Manchester United, which will take time, but once we've worked through that, I look forward to getting back to the Central Coast."

Phelan took on his role on the Central Coast in July 2018. He was Hull City manager for the first part of the 2016-17 season, before Marco Silva was brought in ahead of the club's relegation.