SHAUN Barker has joined Burton Albion Academy as a part-time coach and he will be using his knowledge of football to help bring on the next generation of Brewers players.
The former Derby County defender was Nigel Clough’s club captain but after battling back from devastating injury to surprise everyone by playing again for the Brewers, decided to retire at the end of last season.
Barker’s leadership qualities and support for both Academy and Burton Albion Community Trust activities during his time at the Pirelli Stadium as a player were praised by Clough.
Which is why he’s a natural recruit for the Academy as a part-time Professional Development Phase Coach.
Dan Robinson Academy Manager said: “Shaun did quite a bit for us last year under his club captain role and being a big part of the club, and the good character he is, we have talked over the summer and have wanted to get him involved.
“He’s going to be in with us to work with our youth team boys and there’s no better role model to demonstrate what it takes to be a professional footballer. He’s a qualified coach and looking to develop on that side and he’s a fantastic addition to our team. With Sam Rose heading up our Professional Development Phase, myself, Shaun and Paul Reynolds with the goalkeepers, it’s going to be an exciting year.”
Barker said: “I got involved with Dan and Sam last year just to get a bit of a taste for it and Dan has asked me to come in on a part-time basis.
“It’s a great club. I have had a fantastic couple of seasons here and even though last year didn’t go as well as we would have wanted with the first team my time here has been great.
“Last season was about me offering more than just being on the pitch and that’s how this came about. I wanted to support the club and help the young lads and I thought they would benefit more from me being around with the experience I have.
“It’s lovely to be back and to look forward to what we can do. It’s important these players come through and start being part of the first team like Joe Sbarra and Ben Fox. I know there’s a good set of lads here who can do that.”