FOOTBALL: Platt to coach England youth

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The Independent Online
DAVID PLATT has been appointed assistant coach to the England under- 18 and under-19 teams by the Football Association to help his preparation for top-level management.

The FA have asked the former England captain, who left Arsenal and retired this summer, to assist their technical director, Howard Wilkinson, with coaching the two national youth teams, while the former midfielder will also complete his Uefa coaching qualifications.

Platt, who was capped 62 times by England, joined Wilkinson at Lilleshall this week for a training get-together with the under-18 squad.

He said: "The course has been planned so that I will still have the flexibility to travel abroad, monitoring various clubs and their training techniques.

"Although the overall programme prepared by the FA is comprehensive and stimulating, I am particularly looking forward to working with the England under-18 and under-19 teams - theory is one thing but practice is another."

Wimbledon are poised to make Onandi Lowe, a defender who played for Jamaica during the World Cup finals in France, their first signing since the end of last season.

The 25-year-old centre-back, who was recommended to the Dons' manager, Joe Kinnear, by his Jamaica team-mates, Robbie Earle and Marcus Gayle, is flying to London today to complete his pounds 500,000 move from Harbour View. Kinnear has been frustrated in the transfer market this summer as intended targets have proved too expensive.

Coventry City have finally sold Robert Jarni, who never played for them, to Real Madrid today for pounds 3.35m - a profit of pounds 750,000 on a strange double deal. Jarni agreed personal terms with City after the club had paid pounds 2.6m to Real Betis, but when he flew back to Spain he changed his mind and agreed to join Real Madrid.

The FA have given David Batty a one-match ban to add to the five-game suspension he is already serving after a disciplinary hearing into a misconduct charge for pushing the referee David Elleray during the last match of last season against Blackburn. The England midfielder was sent off during the match for punching Garry Flitcroft.

The Leeds United manager, George Graham, will make an improved pounds 2m bid for Port Vale's Gareth Ainsworth. Graham sent his chief scout, Ian McNeill, to watch the winger in midweek. Graham has money to spend on improving his squad for their Uefa Cup campaign, but the deadline for signings is today.

Celtic will face a fight to prise Alen Boksic away from Lazio if they pursue their reported interest in the Croatian striker. The Scottish champions want to sign the 28-year-old Croatian, for pounds 5m, before today's deadline so that he can lead their assault on the European Cup, but the Italian club's Swedish coach, Sven Goran Eriksson wants to keep Boksic, who is back in training after a four-month lay-off with an injury to his right knee that forced him to miss France 98.

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