Arsenal have confirmed that both Kevin Betsy and Dan Micciche, head coaches of the club’s under-23s and under-18s respectively, will be leaving to join Crawley Town.
Betsy, who joined the Gunners last summer as a replacement for Steve Bould, has been appointed head coach of the League Two outfit and Micciche is tagging along for the ride as his assistant.
The double-signing is something of a coup for Crawley with Betsy very highly-rated within the game having cut his teeth as a coach at Fulham and with England’s under-15s, 16s, 17s and 18s.
During an 18-year playing career, Betsy featured for the likes of Woking, Fulham, Barnsley, Oldham and Wycombe Wanderers.
Micciche has been at Arsenal since 2018 and oversaw the under-15s and 16s before being promoted to the under-18s last summer.
The departure of both men gives Per Mertesacker a headache ahead of the new season.
That said, the Academy Manager was thankful for the duo’s efforts: “We’re grateful for the work Kevin and Dan have done to manage and develop our under-23s and under-18s. Both have shown outstanding coaching ability so it’s no surprise they’re heading into first team management in the EFL. This is a great opportunity for them, and on behalf of everyone at Arsenal, I’d like to thank them for their service and wish them the very best of luck in the future.”
For his part, Betsy thanked Arsenal for being supportive of his ambitions as a head coach.
In a statement on the Crawley Town website, he said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Arsenal, all of the staff and players for a wonderful time at the club. The club has been first class in how things have been conducted and allowing me to take this chance to progress myself with the opportunity at Crawley Town.”
Assessing the situation, our resident youth expert, Jeorge Bird writes: “In terms of an internal appointment, one possible option is Mehmet Ali, who joined midway through this season from Reading as Betsy’s assistant.
“Adam Birchall, an academy product himself, is the current U16 coach and Max Porter has coached at various levels.
“There will be speculation about Jack Wilshere and a possible return for Freddie Ljungberg, but some crucial decisions will now have to be made in a short space of time.”