Northern Ireland assistant coach Austin MacPhee has joined the coaching staff of Aston Villa.
MacPhee has been appointed as the Premier League side’s specialised set piece coach.
He will, however, not be leaving the Northern Ireland senior men’s team set-up. He will continue as an assistant coach in Ian Baraclough’s backroom team alongside his role with Villa.
The 41-year-old Scot is returning to the UK following a spell as a first team coach at Danish Superliga side FC Midtjylland, who finished runners-up in Denmark’s top flight last season.
Northern Ireland boss Ian Baraclough said: “I’m delighted to see Austin’s considerable talents recognised by a Premier League club.
“He will continue to join up with the Northern Ireland senior men’s side, play a key part in our coaching team and I’m confident that this new role, after his successful stint at FC Midtjylland in Denmark, means he will continue to bring innovation and new ideas to the set-up.”
MacPhee was recruited by then manager Michael O’Neill to join the Northern Ireland staff as an assistant coach before the South America tour in the summer of 2014. His first game as part of O’Neill’s backroom team was a match against Uruguay.
He later went on to play a key coaching role in the team’s qualification for UEFA Euro 2016 and at the tournament itself. MacPhee has now been with the team for 70 internationals through Euro 2016 and play-off finals for FIFA World Cup 2018 and Euro 2020.