Wolves have announced the appointment of James Collins as their new Under-23 head coach.
Collins replaces Mark Kennedy, who has done the role in a caretaker capacity for the last 11 weeks following Rob Edwards’s departure to the FA in October, and has left the club.
Hugely experienced Collins will join Wolves after two years as head of coaching at Crewe Alexandra, he holds the UEFA Pro licence, UEFA A licence and is one of 16 selected coaches to graduate on the Level 5 elite coaches’ award.
Collins is well known to current Wolves under-18 head coach Steve Davis, having worked under him for two seasons as a first-team coach at Crewe.
Head of Academy Scott Sellars said it was vitally important the club took its time to find the right candidate to replace him.
“After a long interview process, where we interviewed many good candidates at various stages of their coaching careers, we felt James was the best fit for the role and someone who would help move the development of our young players at Wolves forward,” said Sellars to Wolves official website.
“He has vast experience in developing players after working across both the development side and at first-team level throughout his career at Crewe – a club which has a great legacy of turning emerging young players into first-class professionals.
“Not only does James possess high levels of experience in supporting players to blossom as quickly as possible, we also felt he had the right credentials as a person; mirroring the values which are important to us as a football club.”
After moving into the role as caretaker under-23 head coach following the departure of Edwards, Kennedy has now left the club to pursue new opportunities.
Sellars, who will now lead the team until Collins takes up his new position in the new year, praised Kennedy for his endeavours during the past two months.
“We are extremely grateful for the work Mark has carried out during his time as caretaker coach,” added Sellars.
“He first came to the club on a short-term contract in the summer to work with our loans group, and when Rob decided to leave we felt he would be the right person to lead the under-23s whilst we conducted the recruitment process.
“Mark has shown great commitment to the role and has been very supportive of everyone at the club.
“He has been a great credit to himself throughout his time with us and it’s been a pleasure to have him here at Wolves. We wish him the very best in all his future endeavours.”