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Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna adds former Manchester United goalkeeper Lee Grant to coaching team

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Ipswich Town's connection with Manchester United has grown with the appointment of Lee Grant as a first-team coach.

It was back in December that Kieran McKenna left his coaching position at Old Trafford to become the new manager of Ipswich, with Martyn Pert making the same switch to take up the role of assistant.

And Grant has agreed to join McKenna's coaching set-up after announcing his retirement as a player earlier today.

Lee Grant has joined Ipswich's coaching staff. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Lee Grant has joined Ipswich's coaching staff. Picture: Barry Goodwin

The goalkeeper moved to United in 2018 but found himself way down the pecking order behind the likes of David de Gea, Dean Henderson and Tom Heaton.

Grant, who has previously played for Sheffield Wednesday, Burnley and Derby County among other clubs, made just two senior appearances for the Red Devils.

However, having decided that the time was right to hang up his gloves, the 39-year-old will now begin the next phase of his footballing career in Suffolk.

Speaking to the Ipswich website, Grant said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for me, and I am really looking forward to it.

“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.”

Meanwhile, 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.”