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Yalla Shoot :Ian Foster leaves England Under-20s to join Steven Gerrard in Saudi Arabia | The FA

The England Under-20s manager, Ian Foster, has left the Football Association to work as assistant manager to Steven Gerrard in Saudi Arabia. Foster, a former Liverpool scholar who led England to the Under-19 European Championship title last year, has joined Gerrard at Al-Ettifaq.

Foster leaves the FA after six years working with various age groups. The 46-year-old, who joined after a spell as first-team coach at Portsmouth, was assistant to Steve Cooper when England won the Under-17 World Cup. Foster also served as an assistant to Phil Neville with England women.

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Gerrard’s staff will also include the technical coach Tom Culshaw, with whom the 43-year-old worked at Rangers and Aston Villa, the fitness coach Jordan Milsom, who also followed him to Rangers and Villa, and the analyst Ray Shearwood, who spent more than a decade with Liverpool’s academy.

Gerrard said a “family feeling” had convinced him to sign a three-year contract with the Saudi Pro League club, despite initially saying he would reject the move. Last week, Gerrard’s former Liverpool teammate Robbie Fowler was named manager of Saudi second-tier side Al-Qadsiah.

Al-Ettifaq, who finished seventh in the Saudi top flight last season, are on a training camp in Croatia. Gerrard, who led Rangers to their first Scottish league title in 10 years in 2021, was sacked by Villa last October.

“When I went to Saudi I got a real family feeling,” Gerrard said. “It made me feel welcomed. There are three things I always consider in order: it needs to be right for my family first and foremost – we have to be excited and motivated by the challenge; secondly, he football project needs to be ambitious, it needs to be for the right reasons; and then you need to feel secure with the contract, but this comes at the very end.”

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