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Cambridge United appoint former Arsenal U23s' head coach and Crawley Town manager Kevin Betsy as assistant head coach

Cambridge United have announced former Crawley Town manager and Arsenal Under-23s’ lead coach Kevin Betsy has been appointed assistant head coach to Mark Bonner.

The 45-year-old played across all divisions from the National League to the Premier League as a midfielder including for the likes of Fulham, Barnsley, Wycombe Wanderers and Southend United.

Betsy then began his coaching career with the FA in 2016 – working with the England Under-16s, U17s and then U18s age-groups - before taking the job of Arsenal U23s head coach in 2021.

Kevin Betsy has been appointed head assistant coach at Cambridge United Picture: CUFC
Kevin Betsy has been appointed head assistant coach at Cambridge United Picture: CUFC

Following a successful season with the Gunners, Betsy was appointed Crawley Town boss last summer, but lasted just four months, being relieved of his duties with The Red Devils bottom of Sky Bet League Two. He did notably oversee a famous 2-0 Carabao Cup second round victory over Premier League Fulham at their Broadfield Stadium in August.

He was soon in employment again as a first-team coach under Kolo Toure at Championship club Wigan Athletic but left when the former Arsenal and Manchester City player was sacked in January.

It comes in the wake of Sky Bet League One United parting company with former assistant head coach Gary Waddock last month after three years at the Abbey Stadium.

Of Betsy’s appointment, Bonner told the club’s website: “I am excited to welcome Kevin to the club and believe he will be a fantastic addition to our coaching team.

“His coaching journey has been varied and has seen him work with some top young talent in the development pathways, but his experiences across a variety of roles, along with his personality, will make him an excellent fit.

“He will complement our coaching team well and I believe he has the skills and personality to keep us improving and adapt to our culture quickly.”

Betsy said: “I am very excited, it’s a fantastic opportunity to join Mark, Ben and the football club.

“They are really clear with their ideas on how they have been working, but also how they would like to improve in certain areas and how I fit into the current staff.

“It was a really easy decision for me to come to work with fantastic people at a really good club.”

The club confirmed Betsy has started with immediate effect ahead of the squad’s return to pre-season training next week.

Meanwhile, the U’s first pre-season friendly will take place at non-league St Albans City on Saturday, July 15 (1pm).

Tickets to watch the fixture with The Saints will cost £10 for adults, £8 for concessions, £4 for under-18s and under-12s will be admitted for free.

Both sets of fans can purchase tickets either online or from the turnstiles on the night of the game.

The fixture is United's third confirmed pre-season friendly after games against Ipswich Town and Barnet were announced earlier this month.

Friday saw the club announce midfielder Paul Digby has signed a new two-deal which will take him beyond the 147 appearances he has already made in just three seasons at the Abbey Stadium.

“I feel like I am just getting started here,” Digby told the club’s website.

“I am hungry for more success and feel like there is so much going right at the Club. It is important sometimes to realise what you have got instead of looking elsewhere.

“I am chomping at the bit. I just can’t wait to get back going. I feel like I have learned a lot in my three years here and now we have got to really kick on.”

Bonner said: “Paul’s leadership, character and robustness makes him a vital part of the team.

“Having played in every league game last season, he epitomises the values by which we want to build our new team for this season. I am so happy he’s staying with us.

“The exciting thing with all players is that we can continue developing them and improving them and I’m looking forward to building on the progress Paul has made and seeing him continue to play an integral role in the future.

“He now has excellent experience of the level and is a major part of our journey over the past three seasons. Fuelled by those experiences, he will return next season determined to keep writing our exciting story together.”

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