Liam Manning: “The opportunity to grow to the next phase of my career at Lommel, which keeps me within the City Football Group family, was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.” (Photo courtesy of NYCFC)
NEW YORK – New York City FC Friday announced Academy director Liam Manning will join Lommel SK as the club’s next head coach.
Recently acquired by City Football Group, Lommel is a Belgian club renown for a strong Academy and focus on youth development. The team will play in the Belgian First Division B, the country’s second division, during the 2020-2021 season.
Manning joined NYCFC in April 2019 as director of coaching for the Academy and was promoted to Academy director late last year.
He oversaw a setup that produced a second consecutive U.S. Soccer Development Academy Under-19 national championship and numerous Academy staff being promoted to first team roles.
“I joined NYCFC because it was a club dedicated to growing their Academy and one filled with ambitious goals for their youth setup,” Manning said in a statement. “The past year has been everything I expected and collectively as an Academy staff, we have accomplished a tremendous amount of success.
“We’ve solidified a foundation at the youth levels that provides a proven pathway for players, coaches and backroom staff to progress to the first team and this sets the club up for success for many years to come. Certainly, I didn’t expect to be leaving NYCFC so quickly. The opportunity to grow to the next phase of my career at Lommel, which keeps me within the City Football Group family, was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.”
During Manning’s tenure, NYCFC signed Homegrown defender Tayvon Gray who became the club’s first signing from the Bronx. Gray was one of two NYCFC Academy players who featured for the United States during last fall’s FIFA U-17 World Cup along with Andres Jasson. Joe Scally, who already had signed for the first team, joined those two.
“Liam has been an instrumental part of our Academy’s story throughout his tenure at NYCFC,” sporting director David Lee. “From the day he joined us, he helped push our Academy forward in every area of the operation. We’ve seen great growth and development from not only our players as they progress through the age groups, but by our coaching and support staff as well.”