Arsenal coach breaks silence after ending five-year spell to take up management role

Arsenal’s lead academy goalkeeping coach Andy Woodman has left the club to join National League side Bromley.

Woodman, who had joined Arsenal in August 2016, replaces Neil Smith who was sacked last week after 225 games in charge.

Earlier this month, reported that the 49-year-old was set to leave Arsenal at the end of the season, as his contract was not set to be renewed. However, with the Bromley vacancy coming up, the decision appeared a no-brainer.

“I am delighted to be given the opportunity to lead such an ambitious club and am looking forward to working towards fulfilling that ambition,” Woodman told Bromley’s official club website.

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“The chairman and his vision for the club, along with the existing and planned facilities make for an incredibly exciting time ahead for players, staff and supporters.”

Woodman, a former Crystal Palace, Newcastle United and Charlton Athletic coach, took over the reigns of the Gunners’ goalkeeping department after Gerry Peyton left in 2018.

However, Inaki Cana’s arrival in 2019 saw the 49-year-old’s role focus on the development of goalkeepers from all levels from the under-9s up to the under-23s. Cana was working closely with the first team.

The summer transfer window is just around the corner.

And the rumour mill is already starting to pick up speed.

Arsenal will not have a huge amount of money to spend, but Mikel Arteta will be hoping to make a number of moves, with loanee Martin Odegaard high up the list of priorities to bring in on a permanent deal.

But who would you sign? Get involved in our transfer window debate here.

Woodman’s son, Freddie, is currently impressing in the Championship for Swansea City – on loan from Newcastle United – and Arsenal have tracked him this season.

The Gunners have watched him closely since the end of last season, when he finished his initial spell with the Swans.

The former Arsenal man takes over a Bromley side in 10th place in the National League and just four points outside the play-off positions. His first game in charge will be on Friday against struggling Wealdstone.

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