COVENTRY City Football Club have appointed former player Lee Carsley as the club’s new under-18s coach.
Carsley, who captained the Coventry City first team for the 2011/12 season, takes up his new role with the Coventry City Academy from Monday, July 25 after calling time on his playing career.
The former Republic of Ireland international, who figured for his country in the 1998 and 2002 World Cups on his way to 39 caps, made 71 appearances for the Sky Blues in two spells at the club before deciding to retire at the end of the 2010/11 season.
His recruitment comes as part of a re-organisation of the club’s academy set-up which aims to secure a Category 2 rating in the Premier League’s soon-to-be implemented Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP).
The EPPP will see club academies across the country rated on their coaching resources and capabilities, ranked from one (highest) to four.
Academy manager Gregor Rioch said: “We are absolutely delighted to have Lee on board. His pedigree as a player is beyond question and while good players don’t necessarily make good coaches, Lee has all of the attributes required to be just that.
“He’s been preparing for this moment to come back as a coach at some capacity to a football club and this opportunity was too good to turn down for us and it’s worked well for both Lee and ourselves.
“He’s played at the highest level, playing in a World Cup and being a regular international. He has that credential and that breeds respect from the young players we have here and our apprentices can relate to Lee in where they want to be in their own careers.”
Carsley, who has spent the last five years acquiring all of the necessary coaching badges and licences, added: “I couldn’t think of a better place to learn my trade of being a coach than Coventry City.
“The Academy has a great reputation of producing players that are playing in the first team and hopefully try to learn as much as I can off the likes of Gregor Rioch, Richard Stevens and Mark Noon.
“I’ve been a player for 21 years and it’s a bit strange getting out of that mentality. All of this is new but I enjoyed the ‘drive to work’ for the first time this morning. I don’t officially start until Monday but I’m passionate about football and I was eager to get started and I really enjoyed my first session with Gregor and the players.”
Carsley assists Gregor Rioch for the Under 18s second pre-season friendly of the season at home to Shrewsbury Town on Saturday, July 23.