Sheffield United coach Chris Morgan is relishing the opportunity of getting to grips with the Blades under 21s again, a role he says will help him one day fulful his ambition to be a manager.
Morgan was in charge of the reserve set-up last season but combined his under 21 responsibilities with work alongside Nigel Clough and the first team.
Having spoken with new boss Nigel Adkins, Morgan says his role in the senior set-up will be less than it had been, but the former Blades skipper is happy to be able to place all of his time and effort on helping to create a bridge between the hugely successful academy and the first team squad.
Morgan, whose 12 years at Bramall Lane will be marked with a testimonial game against Newcastle United at Bramall Lane on July 26, believes that being in charge of a team himself is the best way he can gain experience before, at some stage, launching his own managerial career.
“The gaffer (Adkins) has been open enough to say that he’s brought two staff in with him, they are all going to coach.
“I think it is important for me as a progressive coach that I have a team and a group to coach.
“That is the only way I am going to get better as a coach and if I want to manage...from looking after a group of players.”
Morgan and Adkins are in agreement that the under 21 set up is crucial in the development of young players and when everyone reports back for pre-season training, the coaching staff as a whole will meet to ensure that there is a continuity throughout all the sides, providing an ease of transition for when youngsters make the breakthrough.
“I have always tried to keep everything the same so that they step up and nothing’s new to them,” said Morgan.
“I will speak to Nigel a lot more closesly in pre-season when they come in and try to find out his methods so I can pass them on.
“What does he do on a matchday? What’s his matchday routine? So I can get that into the players .
“For instance when Louis Reed stepped up last year from the 21s to the first team I’m not doing one thing with the 21s and the first team are doing something else.
“I think there needs to be a flow and I am a big believer in that.”