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Wednesday 09 Jun 2021
Crosby bids farewell to U21s to take up role with Port Vale

The interim boss of Northern Ireland’s U21s has left the role to take up a permanent post with Port Vale. 

Andy Crosby, who took charge of the U21s after Ian Baraclough stepped up to become senior men’s team manager a year ago, has joined the EFL League Two side as assistant manager. 

The 48-year-old has signed a permanent deal with the Valiants after spending time supporting manager Darrell Clarke at Vale Park during the latter stages of the 2020-21 SkyBet League Two campaign. 

When Crosby took the reins at Northern Ireland U21s last summer they had three points under their belts from five qualifiers for U21 Euro 2021, having managed three draws and suffered defeats away to Denmark U21s and Romania U21s. 

They added a further six points in Qualifying Group 8 from Crosby’s five games in charge – and arguably should have added more.

He guided the team to victories against Malta (away) and Ukraine (home), however they suffered narrow defeats at home against eventual group winners Denmark and Finland. And they also lost away to Ukraine.

His final match in charge was against Scotland U21s at the weekend. That game ended in a 3-2 defeat, however last Wednesday the U21s defeated the Scots in the first of two friendlies on a 2-1 scoreline. Both matches were played at the C&G Systems Stadium in Dumbarton.

A defender in his playing days, Crosby made 715 career appearances scoring 43 goals, with his first foray into coaching coming in 2006 when he was named player-coach under Nigel Adkins at Scunthorpe United.

In 2010 he became assistant manager at Southampton under Adkins and the pair guided the Saints from League One to the Premier League in back-to-back promotions.

Crosby later worked alongside Adkins at Reading, Sheffield United and Hull City before moving to Northern Ireland U21s as assistant to Ian Baraclough in 2017.