Former Palace defender Darren Powell is back in SE25 as a part of the academy's coaching team, and he is delighted to have returned to the club.
The former centre-back was a popular figure at the Eagles during his three years at Selhurst Park, and was a part of the squad that won promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs in 2003/04, with Powell famously scoring against Sunderland in the second leg to force a penalty shoot-out which booked Iain Dowie's side a spot in the final against Alan Pardew's West Ham United.
After winding down his playing days over recent years, he has now joined the Eagles' academy where he coaches the under-13 side as he aims to complete his coaching courses under the watchful eye of Gary Issott.
He said: “I'm getting involved in the coaching here at Palace now, I know Gary [Issott] from my playing days here and when I was at Hampton & Richmond Borough we used to sort out pre-season friendlies. I'm doing my badges now so I got in contact with him and asked if anything was available to get involved with.
“I'm in the area and I still know people at the club, including Julian [Speroni] who is still in goal from when I was here so there was still a connection. I've always checked their scores and the last few years there have seen up and downs but it's always good to have Palace in the Premier League aiming to stay up and become an established top-flight club.”
Academy Director Gary Issott is delighted to welcome another former Eagles player back to the academy set-up. "I was delighted that Darren accepted our invitation to join our coaching staff at the academy and like Richard Shaw, John Salako, Mark Bright and Robert Quinn, it is great to see former players of the club ready to help the next generation learn the Palace way."