Derry returns to lift young Eagles

Crystal Palace

Shaun Derry wants to bring the next generation of Crystal Palace stars through after rejoining the club as professional development coach within the Academy.

The 41-year-old former midfielder and captain featured 226 times over two spells with the Eagles, helping them win promotion to the Premier League in 2004.

He returns to coaching following spells in charge at Notts County and Cambridge, while he most recently worked alongside manager Karl Robinson at Oxford.

Derry, who also played for Sheffield United, Portsmouth, Leeds and QPR, is looking forward to the challenges ahead as he aims to help bring through the next batch of Palace players.

Having hailed the Londoners for giving him a “brilliant opportunity” to forge a career in football, he is looking to give something back.

And, Derry claims passing on stories of “brilliant highs and some lows” during his time as a player will be invaluable to the youngsters coming through the ranks.

In addition to his experiences as a player, Derry now has a wealth of coaching and managerial know how since he was last at the club.

In his two managerial spells, he spent 16 months in charge of Notts County, where he guided the team to six wins from the last nine games to keep the side in the League One in 2013-14.

He then spent just over two years at the helm of Cambridge United, where he won 48 of his 124 games in charge.

Derry is also not afraid to get involved on the training ground and, in his most recent role with Oxford, he played in a friendly game against Irish side Longford Town in July 2018, aged 40.

His appointment follows on from Dean Wilkins becoming head of coaching at the club’s Beckenham base and Sam Higgins taking up the position of head of sport science.

Academy director Gary Issott said: “What Sean brings is a real experience that’s going to be invaluable to the academy and our senior players within the set-up.

“We always try and re-invest in former players, and Shaun really feels strongly about the football club.

“I think supporters can connect with players from the club and I think it’s great that the young players can see them as role models as well.”