Neil Critchley has been appointed Blackpool head coach, but who is the new man in the dugout?

Credit: Steve Daniels

Blackpool have today confirmed Liverpool Under-23s boss Neil Critchley will take over the Tangerines.

Critchley, who has signed a deal to stay till summer 2023, joins with the Seasiders sitting 13th in League one.

Born in October 1978, Critchley was born and raised in Crewe, making one appearance for Alexandra during the 1999-2000 campaign.

The Blackpool boss also played for Leigh Genesis Football Club, appearing just three times.

Critchley went into coaching and returned to Crewe in 2007, where he took on the role of academy director.

Critchley first came into the wider media spotlight this season after he took charge of Liverpool’s Carabao Cup quarter final clash against Aston Villa, when his young side lost 5-0 to a vastly more experienced Villa team.

The academy coach proved his credentials when he took charge of first team proceedings for the second time this season, as he oversaw his youthful side’s 1-0 victory over Shrewsbury Town during an FA Cup 4th round replay.

Critchley boosts an impressive CV and is one of only 16 coaches in the country to have gained the highest possible qualification in football.

He was hand-picked by the FA to take Uefa’s first elite badge course, making him of one of Europe’s top coaches.

Having served as the Under-23 coach since 2017, on the back of four years as Under-18s coach, Critchley has helped develop some of Liverpool’s brightest young talents and internationals.

Speaking after his appointment, Critchley described it as a special feeling.

“I am absolutely delighted to join Blackpool. The trust and faith that has been shown in me from Simon (Sadler, chairman) and Ben (Mansford, chief executive) gives me a very special feeling inside,” he said.

“(Liverpool) is a truly special football club and it’s the people that make the football club the place that it is. It would have had to have taken something equally as special, if not more, for me to even think about leaving.

“But from the conversations I’ve had here, I got a really good feeling about the people, where they want the club to go and how they want it to grow.”

Former Blackpool and Liverpool player Charlie Adam’s tweet

Blackpool owner Simon Sadler said bringing the “highly regarded” coach can help “lay down the blueprint for our footballing philosophy”.

He added: “We want this club to represent the town and community by playing entertaining football, working hard and being organised.”