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Manchester United Keeper Grant Joining Town as First-Team Coach
Thursday, 26th May 2022 15:30

Retiring Manchester United goalkeeper Lee Grant is joining Town as first-team coach.

Grant, 39, announced that he is hanging up his gloves earlier today and he is now set to be reunited with Blues manager Kieran McKenna and his assistant Martyn Pert at Portman Road.

Town have confirmed that Rene Gilmartin will continue in the role of head of goalkeeping which he took on in December.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for me, and I am really looking forward to it,” Grant told the club site.

“I know Kieran and Martyn having worked with them at Manchester United and I loved the work we were being given from a playing perspective. Now I am excited about working with them again, albeit in a different role.

“I feel really blessed that I have been able to make the decision to retire and go straight into an exciting role with Ipswich Town.

“Over the last few years, I have been preparing for this moment by obtaining my coaching licences, expanding my network and working on a business degree.

“It has all been with the intention of being in a good place for a smooth transition at this point in my career.

“I could not be joining a club with a more exciting footing than Ipswich either. There is new ownership, new direction, a driven manager and a squad that is also hungry to go and achieve things.

“As I say, I am excited to get to work and I will be ready for when the squad returns ahead of the new season.”

Manager McKenna added: “We are so happy to have Lee on board with the coaching staff.

“I have worked closely with Lee and he has been transitioning ready to make the move into a coaching role as soon as he called time on his playing career.

“He has been a fantastic professional and he is someone that has great knowledge of the game. He has always been a respected member of every dressing room he has been in.

“He will bring a wealth of quality to his role and, given he had a number of opportunities for his next step in the game, it’s a great sign for the club that he has made that commitment to us.

“Lee will add value right across the board and he will fit in really well with the coaching staff. He will work with players on an individual basis but will also help the team as a collective, as well as working closely with the forwards in the squad.”

Grant was a youth player with Watford but made his senior breakthrough with Derby, going on to have spells with Burnley (two, the first on loan), Oldham (loan), Sheffield Wednesday, a second stint with the Rams and then Stoke before joining United in 2018 as a back-up keeper where he made one first team start and one sub appearance.

Speaking about his retirement from playing Hemel Hempstead-born Grant told the Red Devils official website: “After 511 appearances, I’ve decided it’s the right time to move into the next stage of my career.

“There have been so many fun moments mixed in with the odd challenge, but I’m grateful for each and every one.

“Fulfilling a boyhood dream of playing for Manchester United was something I thought was out of reach, so to have achieved that fills me with great pride and emotion!

“As I move into the next stage of my career, I’m excited and hungry about the beginning of a new journey and the hard work that lies ahead!”

In September last year Grant spoke to United's official website about working on his coaching qualifications, including his UEFA A-Licence and an LMA Diploma in Football Management.

Photo: Action Images

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GrantOB92 added 15:33 - May 26
Walton knows how to handle his balls anyway, but I will take this for sure. Pedigree

Bazza8564 added 15:47 - May 26
Decent appointment, the club keeps adding strength in depth, welcome fella!

Suffolkboy added 16:23 - May 26
Can’t imagine LG will bring anything other than yet more strength to our ‘team at the top ‘ ; he’ll be coming with established credentials ,and the honesty and integrity and alongside the enthusiasm shines through .

brassy added 16:25 - May 26
Welcome to town buh

BlueArrow added 16:27 - May 26
Welcome aboard. Uppa Towen

ButchersBrokenNose added 16:31 - May 26
This is a great signing and a clear indication of where Town is going. More cause for optimism.

Robert_Garrett added 16:44 - May 26
This is the best signing of the month of May that we have been waiting for.

Roll on Champions leagure 2026!

ringwoodblue added 17:06 - May 26
Great appointment.

Certainly beats the Cookie era where the coaching staff was made up of second rate ex-players and kitmen.

planetblue_2011 added 17:27 - May 26
Welcome aboard Grant hope you do well for us mate👍⚽️

ThaiBlue added 17:56 - May 26
Nice move town well done.

ArnieM added 18:27 - May 26
Just How many coaches do we need ?

Saxonblue74 added 18:43 - May 26
Agree Arniem, would anyone have known him as a coach prior to reading this......honestly?

Saxonblue74 added 18:51 - May 26
Take out the Manchester utd link and we've signed a retired goalkeeper who last September was still doing his coaching qualifications.

whosroundisitanyway added 20:26 - May 26
A goalkeeper 'working closely with the forwards'
Interesting concept?

leftie1972 added 20:44 - May 26
One first team start and one sub appearance……I admit it’s two more than I have but……

blueboy1981 added 21:01 - May 26
All I’ll say is, unlike some - no euphoria at this moment.
We’ll wait and see shall we ? … time will give the ultimate answer to all …. !!!

ArnieM added 22:04 - May 26
Whosroundusutanyway: yes it is an interesting concept . I remember Paul Cook being critiqued gif having Franny Jeffers taking some seasons with the defence . But there’s method in this apparent madness . Who would know what strikers like to do in the box better than a goal keeper …. And who would know his best to beat a defender than a striker ? By having the opposing ( position /player) eg a defender , coach a striker, what a defender hates a striker to do most, helps defenders understand how a striker thinks… So there’s is some rationale behind a goalkeeper coaching strikers how best to beat a goalkeeper .

Radlett_blue added 22:16 - May 26
A very odd appointment. Grant has spent the last 3 years as a largely unused Man Utd 3rd choice keeper, presumably rather like Richard Wright keeping up Man City's home grown criteria numbers. He has no coaching experience & isn't coming as goalkeeping coach.

JewellintheTown added 05:21 - May 27
We don't know terms & specifics of his role yet, but his experience & enthusiasm & professionalism can only be a good thing.
Might not be proven coach yet, but neither was McKenna a proven manager & look how that's turning out.
I trust his judgement as he knows him better as a fit for us than any of us fans do.

OliveR16 added 08:25 - May 27
Amazing that Ipswich can attract such a top class professional whose preparation for coaching speaks for itself. The building blocks are continually being added and added well. We are not used to this!

SouperJim added 08:43 - May 27
People saying he's not coming as a goalkeeping coach, how do you know that? We have a "head of goalkeeping", presumably that means Gilmartin's job stretches further than just coaching the first team goalkeepers. I would speculate that Grant will fill various roles as a coach, McKenna has mentioned working with the forwards in the article (which makes good sense as others have posted) but it would be very odd if he doesn't do some work with the 'keepers too.

Anyway a very positive addition for me.

Razor added 10:50 - May 27
K Mac must like him and obviously knows him well000-----Man U now just a feeder club for the mighty Ipswich!!

mathiemagic added 11:32 - May 27
How it can be anything other than positive is beyond me ? - If we had signed the Man Utd head chef as a coach I might have misgivings, but this signing gets the thumbs up from me #COYB

Runner added 11:59 - May 27
ArnieM, sorry big fingers, should have been an up.

carlgibbs13 added 13:45 - May 27
All these ex Man UTD members coming to town… obviously they can tell the difference in a sinking ship and one on the rise???

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