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‘A proud moment for me and my family’ – Holden

Dean Holden shares his immediate emotions and thoughts after being announced as City’s newest head coach.

Holden’s appointment was confirmed on Monday evening (August 10th) in a move which sees the 40-year-old make the step up from his previous position as assistant head coach.

He takes charge with immediate effect with the players returning to training for pre-season on Tuesday (August 11th).

 

“I’m very proud I have to say,” Holden said. “It’s a proud moment for me and my family. It’s an opportunity I am so excited about, I can’t wait to start with the players and staff tomorrow and I’m very grateful to the Board for choosing me.

“I’m really happy the club have cast the net wide and do their due diligence, that was important. I was under the nose and it’s important the club spoke to others out there to see what candidates they could bring in.

“I’m delighted they’ve chosen me, it’s an opportunity I intend to take, I’m ready for this job. I’ve been in this industry a long time and I’m very excited.”

Prior to the Robins, Holden was the first team coach at Walsall and before then Oldham Athletic, both clubs he had served as a player. He also managed the Latics for the remaining three months of the 2014/15 campaign. But his playing career spanned 16 years from the late 1990s.

Holden continued: “I’ve been in this industry 25 years, since the day I left school. I’ve learnt along the way, from my mistakes. I’ve worked with some fantastic managers starting with Sam Allardyce at Bolton, things I picked up from him; Dean Smith was at the end of my career where I learned a different style of coaching and management which I found interesting.

“I worked with Lee (Johnson) as a full-time coach and I learned from him as well so you pick up things along the way. Some things you think ‘you’re not sure about that’, you find your own way and I have my own way of doing things and I’m ready, I’m looking forward to it.”

Chairman Jon Lansdown, Head Coach Dean Holden, CEO Mark Ashton

Holden believes his overall experience in football makes him ready for his first appointment as full-time head coach, something he will “embrace.”

He said: “There’s already a fantastic group of players at this football club and with a couple of additions we can really challenge this season. Behind the scenes we have great staff as well and it’s about pulling together in one direction with our supporters who are the lifeblood of the club, trying to have a fantastic season.

“I embrace the responsibility as head coach, I’ve been building towards it since I got my Pro-Licence diploma and along the way you meet people whose ideas you can tap into. When you get the opportunity, you can put those ideas across.”

And Holden hopes to see the sort of football he had the squad playing towards the end of last season, when he acted in a caretaker capacity in the final five games.

It was a short spell which saw Holden get City back to winning ways and run them close to a top-six finish.

He added: “I really enjoyed the last two weeks of last season and we got some decent performances. The first half against Middlesbrough was exciting and that’s how we want to play: on the front foot, playing attacking, exciting football, creating chances and without the ball we want to regain possession as quickly as we can.

“We want to get the supporters out of their seats whether they are at home watching or at Ashton Gate when they can rejoin us, or indeed when we travel around the country. The away days is what I can relate to as a kid, spending every penny I had or didn’t have travelling to watch my team play over the country. It’s my job to put a team on the pitch who the fans can relate to, so they feel pride when they watch them play and I’m so excited.”

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