Football Restructure

Following the appointment of Craig Gardner as Technical Director, several changes have been made to the Club’s staffing structure.

Gardner had been supporting Lee Bowyer in the dugout since his arrival in March, but will now step away from all coaching duties to focus on his new role.

Firstly, the Club are delighted to welcome Mark Kennedy as Blues Assistant Head Coach.

Kennedy, 45, made over 500 appearances as a professional whilst earning 34 international caps for the Republic of Ireland.

The Dublin-born defender began his professional career at Millwall before going on to represent the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Cardiff City.

Plying his trade as a tricky left-winger, Kennedy was once the most expensive teenager in world football when he moved to Anfield 25-years ago.

He was promoted to the Premier League on two separate occasions and was named in the First Division PFA Team of the Year in 2000 and 2002.

After hanging up his boots in 2012, he turned to coaching and has occupied various academy positions at Ipswich Town, Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Kennedy was appointed First Team Manager at Macclesfield Town in January 2020 and governed the Silkmen for 12 games before leaving at the end of a shortened season.

As part of the reshuffle, Paul Harsley will remain as part of the First Team set up in the new role of First Team Development Coach.

The 43-year-old initially joined the Club as Lead Professional Development Coach and worked primarily with the Under-18s side prior to Bowyer’s arrival.

Harsley stepped up to First Team duties for the final ten games of the campaign and will now form a permanent part of the Club’s First Team staff ahead of the new season.

Goalkeeping Coach, Tony Roberts, has left the Football Club. The former QPR and Dagenham and Redbridge ‘keeper joined Blues in October 2020 as part of the backroom staff.

The Board would like to place on record their thanks to Tony for his efforts during his time at the Club.

Having left Charlton Athletic earlier this week, Andy Marshall will join Bowyer’s staff as Roberts’ replacement.

Marshall, 46, amassed over 400 appearances as a professional and enjoyed a career spanning more than two decades.

His appointment reunites the former Norwich City, Ipswich Town and Millwall stopper with Bowyer after the pair worked together at the Valley.

Their working relationship dates back to their playing days, when Bowyer and Marshall both represented England together at Under-18 and Under-21 level.

Marshall also spent time as a Goalkeeping Coach across the Second City between 2014 and 2016 which involved a stint as joint Caretaker Manager in 2015.

Elsewhere, Head of Emerging Talent, Simon Jones, will report into the new Technical Director and take the lead in overhauling the Club’s player recruitment process.

The Board felt it was necessary to have a dedicated in-house team of staff, responsible for this process, as opposed to outsourcing recruitment to a third party.

Jones has already played an integral role for the Club’s Academy in the identification of potential players aged 9-16 and will look to emulate his success at First Team level.

The Staffing changes are in place ahead of the First Team’s return to Wast Hills and pre-season trip to Scotland.