Steve Wigley will permanently take charge of Fulham’s under 23 side after an impressive stint in caretaker control since the start of the season, the club have confirmed this afternoon.
Wigley, who led Fulham’s under 18s to back to back league titles over the past two seasons, has been managing both of the club’s academy outfits since the Whites launched a recruitment process for a new under 23 head coach late in the summer. The role had previously been shared between former Fulham midfielder Mark Pembridge, who is understood to have left the club during the close season, and Colin Omogbehin, who was moved to a new role as first team development coach after an academy reorganisation.
Wigley has lead the under 23s to four wins from their first six matches in Division Two of the Premier League 2, implementing an attacking style that mirrors the set up favoured by new first team head coach Marco Silva. The transformation from a side that struggled for consistency last season has been stark – and the highly regarded Wigley is keen to keep the momentum going as part of his current head of player develop role. The 59 year-old has been a key part of Fulham’s academy revolution in two spells with the club, joining initially in the summer of 2012 and returning as under 18s head coach in 2015 after a spell as Stuart Pearce’s assistant at his former club Nottingham Forest.
Fulham have appointed Ali Melloul, who has been a member of the club’s academy set up for more than a decade, as Wigley’s successor as the under 18 head coach. Melloul was Wigley’s number two at under 18 level last term.