Former Crystal Palace captain Shaun Derry has joined the club as Professional Development Coach within the club’s Academy.
Derry featured 226 times for Palace over two spells and was a key part of the Eagles squad which earned promotion to the Premier League in 2004 and also the side which famously drew with Sheffield Wednesday on 'Survival Sunday' in 2010 to keep the club in the Championship. In addition, Derry has managed at first-team level, leading Notts County and Cambridge United as well as coaching Oxford United.
His role with the Academy will see him work alongside older age-group players aiming to ease player progression from Development to senior football.
Having returned to the club, Derry said: "It means the world to me. This is a club that gave me a brilliant opportunity as a player, as a 24-year-old and I spent two or three years here, experienced some brilliant highs and some lows along the way. Then coming back as a 30-year-old as a different type of player and again witnessing some incredible moments. I can tell a story to the younger players and hopefully that will be valuable for them."
Academy Director Gary Issott also expressed his satisfaction, saying: "It’s a fantastic appointment for us. Shaun’s CV, he’s played in the Premier League, he’s been a league manager in both League 1 and League 2 and he’s also been an assistant manager. What he 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."
Last December, the club announced it had secured a long-term lease on the current Academy base in Beckenham, and in July the Academy further bolstered its ranks with the appointment of Dean Wilkins as Head of Coaching, Sam Higgins as Head of Sport Science and Michael Kamara taking on the Under-10s squad as Lead Coach, as well as the newly created position of Head of Player/Parent Communications.
See what Shaun said upon returning to the Academy below!