Return of the Mac

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Tim Sherwood has wasted no time in bringing in his backroom staff, making three new additions to the coaching team this week. The most notable of these is the newly appointed assistant manager Kevin MacDonald.

Kevin MacDonald is a well known face around Bodymoor Heath: along with Gordan Cowans, he was responsible for overseeing youth development. He was a first team coach under Martin O’Neill too and a part of a very successful coaching team that built the best team Aston Villa has had for a number of years.

During his pre-match press conference on Thursday, Sherwood asserted that he needed a right-hand man who knew Aston Villa Football Club and was the right fit long term at the club. It would appear that our new manager was in talks with MacDonald at the time he spoke to the gathered press.

MacDonald knows the Aston Villa Football Club as well as anyone. The fans and players can relate to him and know that he will be one of the men who will graft behind the scenes to make this football club as successful as it can be. It seems that MacDonald liaises with players better than anyone at the club, with many welcoming him back via social media sites. It is little things like this that can help a manager to gain the respect of the players and grasp a real insight into what is happening in the dressing room from his right hand man, who is trusted by the players themselves.

I’m sure that Kevin MacDonald himself is delighted to be back at Villa Park in this capacity. He left the club in 2012 following the arrival of Paul Lambert, ending a seventeen-year stint as a coach at the club. Sherwood has surrounded himself with people who know Aston Villa Football Club, which could be a masterstroke. Andy Marshall, who has been around the club since the O’Neill days, has been retained as goalkeeping coach.

Sherwood seems intent on working closely with Gordon Cowans and Tony McAndrew to develop the youth teams in the long run. He seems open to receiving advice from Sid Cowans, talking about him during both of his press conferences this week.

As well as using a lot of the people already at the club, there have been two new staff arrivals, with Mark Robson and Seamus Brady joining the coaching team. Robson has experience as a manager too, briefly managing Barnet in 2012, and has performed a number of coaching jobs. He is currently the England under 17s’ assistant manager too. Seamus Brady has been added as a performance analyst but Sherwood said that he is very hands-on and “he will be out on the training field with me every day”.

The additions to Tim Sherwood’s coaching team seem to be as positive as his appointment as manager. Everything is set for a much more enjoyable spell as Aston Villa fans. Let’s just hope it all works out well this time.

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