Atlanta United on Thursday announced that it has promoted former West Ham player Jack Collison from the club’s academy to take over head coaching duties for Atlanta United 2 following Tony Annan’s departure earlier this week.
The news was first reported by The Athletic’s Jeff Rueter.
Collison appeared more than 100 times for the Hammers in both the English Premier League and Championship divisions before finishing his playing career with stints at Bournemouth, Wigan and Peterborough. He joined Atlanta United’s Academy coaching staff in 2019.
“Jack has done a tremendous job with our Academy teams since joining the organization and he will make a seamless transition to ATL UTD 2,” club vice president and technical director Carlos Bocanegra said in a statement. “He’s quickly proven to have a bright future in the managerial world.”
At first glance it might seem like a bit of a strange appointment considering Collison hasn’t been a part of the 2’s coaching staff prior to this point. But while Collison can obviously be an aspirational figure as a head coach due to his playing career, he will also have engrained relationships with many of the players he’ll be leading considering the amount of Academy players involved with the USL side.
Collison’s first match in charge is this weekend when the 2’s host USL powerhouse Louisville City at Fifth Third Bank Stadium Sunday at 7:30 p.m.