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Wednesday 01 Feb 2023
Schofield leaves Northern Ireland U21s role

John Schofield has left his role as manager of Northern Ireland’s Under-21 men’s team. 

Schofield became the U21s boss in July 2021 after previously being a part-time assistant coach with the U21s for over a year. 

He joined the Northern Ireland U21s set-up permanently from EFL Championship side Peterborough United where he had been working with the U23s. 

Schofield said today: “I want to thank everyone connected to the Irish Football Association for the opportunity to work with some brilliant young footballers who not only have exciting careers in front of them as players but as young men, too. 

“They have all shown me unstinting support throughout my time at the Irish FA and for that I thank them. This goes for members of staff too who have helped foster a positive and supportive learning environment and culture. 

‘I am, of course, disappointed to be leaving, however I am comforted by the fact that I have contributed to the development of those players and helped them gain invaluable experience in their own journeys. I wish everyone associated to the team, both players and staff, the best of luck.” 

Schofield was in charge of Northern Ireland Under-21s for the U21 Euro 2023 qualification campaign. 

Northern Ireland finished third in Qualifying Group C on seven points, however that was well adrift of table toppers Spain (24 points) and second-placed Slovakia (15 points). Their standout performance in the group was a hard fought 1-0 win over the Slovakians at Mourneview Park in Lurgan in September 2021. 

Barnsley-born Schofield had a successful playing career with Lincoln City, Doncaster Rovers, Mansfield Town and Hull City before taking up coaching in 2000 as head of youth development at Lincoln. 

His coaching career has included a spell as first team coach at Lincoln and a short period as caretaker boss. He has also had first team coaching roles at Scunthorpe United, Walsall, Cambridge United, Notts County and Doncaster, and he has been an assistant manager at Cheltenham Town, Gillingham, Scunthorpe and York City.