Neil Critchley has left the Liverpool U23 side to take up a role as head coach with Blackpool.
The club confirmed the coach's departure in a statement this morning wishing the man who took charge of two cup ties this season well.
U23s coach Neil Critchley has left the club to take up the position of head coach at @BlackpoolFC.
Everybody at #LFC would like to thank Neil for his outstanding contribution to the club and wish him all the best in his new position. https://t.co/BvrRPBeSJh
— Liverpool FC (Premier League Champions 🏆) (@LFC) March 2, 2020
"Everybody at Liverpool Football Club would like to thank Neil for his outstanding contribution to the club and wish him all the best in his new position."
Academy director Alex Inglethorpe admits the news brings mixed emotions.
“It’s a bittersweet day in many respects,” said Inglethorpe.
“Obviously losing a person and professional of Neil’s calibre is something that is a disappointment, but at the same time, we have great excitement and joy that he has been given this wonderful opportunity.
“We see this as a reflection on the Academy as a whole, that it’s an environment where players and coaches have a pathway to progression and self-improvement.
“Blackpool want Neil because of the work he’s done at Liverpool and it shows to everyone within our system that if you work hard and work smart then rewards are there.
“Neil epitomises the best qualities of a modern coach: leadership skills, intelligence, compassion and a hunger for individual and collective improvement. Blackpool are very fortunate to have him and we wish him well.
“For the U23s we are confident in the remaining coaching talent we have to make sure there is no drop-off in the interim period. This season has proved the importance of the role and, therefore, we will take advantage of having amazing people already in post to take stock and assess what to do next.
“Myself, Michael Edwards and Jürgen Klopp will work collaboratively on what works best for the future. The pathway is so critical to this club we want to make sure we make the best appointment we can.”
Responsibilities for Liverpool’s U23s in the interim will be assumed by existing coaching staff before a permanent appointment is made.