Plymouth Argyle are set to end their search for a new manager by appointing former England under-20 manager Ian Foster, according to journalist John Percy.
The Championship club have been without a manager since former boss, Steven Schumacher left his role to join league rivals Stoke City in December. Foster, who is currently working with Steven Gerrard at Saudi Pro League club Al-Ettifaq, has previously been a target for League One side Lincoln City.
As a player, he played the majority of his career in the English lower leagues before joining Galway United in Ireland, where he eventually retired.
The 47-year-old began his managerial career in Ireland, beginning has an assistant manager at Galway United, before being appointed manager of the club in January of 2009. He guided the club to safety before taking the role at Dundalk FC in December of the same year, guiding The Lilywhites to their first Europa League campaign in six years, and The All-Ireland Cup Final.
Foster returned to England in 2012 to continue his managerial career, taking first-team coaching roles at Coventry City and Portsmouth, where he helped to oversee the development of players such as James Maddison and Callum Wilson. The Liverpool-born manager left Portsmouth in February 2017 to take up a role within the England under-17 setup.
Foster also worked with the under-18 and under-19 England sides between 2019-2022 before being given the role of the England under-20 side for the 2023 World Cup, with his side beaten in the round of 16 by eventual runners-up Italy. In July 2023, Foster left his role with the FA to join Gerrard in Saudi Arabia.
It has been a strong first season in The Championship for Argyle after their promotion under Schumacher last season. It was difficult for the club to lose a highly popular manager, with the club sitting 18th in the table and still very much in a battle against relegation.
Ian Foster hasn’t got experience in management in the EFL but does appear to have the experience of developing young talent, which could be a great asset to a club that lacks the financial power of other clubs in their division.
He’s certainly the sort of coach that EFL clubs currently covet – a track record of working with young players, and not someone from the same pool of failed faces. Will he be the next Kieran McKenna or the next Neil Wood? Only time will tell.