Manchester United academy goalkeeping chief joins Middlesbrough

Alan Fettis, Manchester United’s academy chief goalkeeper, is due to leave the club after 11 years and join Championship side Middlesbrough as first-team goalkeeper coach. Athleticism can reveal.

The former Northern Ireland and Hull City goalkeeper, 51, was brought to Old Trafford by former goalkeeping coach Eric Steele and Sir Alex Ferguson.

He has worked with David de Gea, Dean Henderson, Sam Johnstone, Joel Pereira, Edwin van der Sar, Anders Lindegaard and Victor Valdes, among others.

Fettis has more recently spent time coaching Matej Kovar and Radek Vitek, two of the club’s most promising young goalkeepers.

De Gea is among those who believe Kovar, who trained with the first team last season, can become a top goalkeeper. Fettis has an equally high opinion of Vitek, the goalkeeper who recently helped United win the 2022 Youth Cup.

Fettis, who was happy at United, however, was reportedly impressed with Chris Wilder and his ideas for Middlesbrough.

Fettis has been a popular figure at Old Trafford. In August 2016, Valdes said that without Fettis’ help he would have quit football in 2015, saying: “It’s hard to explain, but it was hard being alone.

“The easy solution would have been to end my career. I want to publicly say thank you to U21 coach Alan Fettis. Without him, I might have given up on football. He made me continue and stopped me when I was thinking of ending my career.

Fettis worked with the United first team again following the departure of Emilio Alvarez in 2019.

Athleticism understands that new manager Erik ten Hag does not bring new goalkeeper coaches.

Richard Hartis, whom Fettis replaced when he left to join Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in Norway in 2011, remains in charge of United’s first-team goalkeeping.

United are also hoping set-piece specialist coach Eric Ramsey will stay at the club and be able to take on a wider role.

(Photo: Getty Images)

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