Quinton Fortune: Former Manchester United academy coach joins Reading senior set-up

Former Manchester United academy coach Quinton Fortune has joined the senior set-up at Championship club Reading.

Fortune joined United as a player in 1999 and went on to make 126 appearances over the following seven years, before leaving to join Bolton Wanderers.

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The Premier League winner returned to Old Trafford in 2012 to start working towards his coaching badges and began his role as assistant coach for United’s U23s in July 2019.

Last season was a successful one for United’s U23s, with the side achieving promotion to Premier League 2 Division One. Neil Wood’s team were in second spot behind West Ham United when the season was curtailed and subsequently concluded on a points-per-game basis.

United’s head of academy, Nick Cox, said: “Everyone at the academy wishes Quinton the best of luck in his new role.

“All of our coaches, as well as the players, receive a huge amount of development and this is another example of the type of progress that an individual can make within the academy system.

“The U23s’ promotion was a great achievement for Neil Wood and his staff so we’d like to thank Quinton for his role in that.

“We are fortunate to have a pool of excellent coaches in the professional development phase who are ready to take on increased responsibilities. They will work together to support the squad as we look to continue to build on the eight first-team debuts that were made last season.”

Fortune will assist new Reading manager Veljko Paunovic and links up with former United team-mate John O’Shea.

‘I want to see four or five black coaches in the Premier League’

Fortune is encouraged by the work currently being done by Premier League clubs in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as Manchester United’s #allredallequal campaign, but says more needs to be done to increase the number of black coaches and managers in English football.

The 43-year-old, who is currently in the process of getting his pro licence, said in June his “ultimate dream” is to become Manchester United manager.

“All the clubs, I take my hat off, the way they’ve approached this and the support they have given,” he said. “But when you talk about change…

“Around 34 per cent of players in the Premier League are black, maybe more, but when we look at coaches right around the Premier League and Football League, six per cent are black coaches.

“I’m all for the Rooney Rule. It’s a great step forward in terms of giving BAME coaches the opportunity to have an interview. That’s progress.

“Any club can have diversity, inclusion, but you need to have a target. For the next 18 months, I want to see four or five black coaches in the Premier League.

“But not just in coaching, board members as well. You need to put them in a position where they can learn. It will be brilliant for the game because different minds, different ways of looking at things. It will inspire people from BAME backgrounds to see someone they can identify with.

“When I saw Nelson Mandela become president after 27 years in prison, I felt anything was possible.

“When I came over to this country in 1991, my former team-mate at Tottenham, Neale Fenn, gave me a book about Pele. He won the World Cup aged 17 and when I read his story, he came from same background as me.

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