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City Opportunity A No-Brainer - Holden

Dean Holden says furthering his coaching career at Ashton Gate was a no-brainer after reuniting with Lee Johnson as assistant head coach.

The 37-year-old will team up with John Pemberton in supporting the boss, who he previously worked with at Oldham Athletic two seasons ago.

Holden, who first met the City head coach when they were Chesterfield team-mates back in 2011, admits he had not anticipated moving on from his role as number two at Walsall.

“We’ve kept in touch over the years but this just came out of the blue,” he told Bristol City Player HD in an exclusive interview.

“I was at Walsall, a fantastic club with some great staff, and loving every day of it. We had a really good group of young players, but this is a step up in every sense.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for me in my coaching career to come to a Championship club who are looking to progress rapidly in the next couple of years.

“It’s such a big club in a fantastic city. I hadn’t seen the new stadium since I last played there but I’ve had a brief look and it’s an amazing place to play.

“The whole infrastructure is impressive and attendances have gone through the roof this season – there’s just such a good feel around the place.”

Holden and Johnson were only together for three months at Boundary Park before the latter took the Barnsley job in February 2015, prompting his former assistant to step in as manager until the end of the season.

“I enjoyed working with Lee for a short spell and it made me a better coach because when he left I ended up becoming the manager for a very short time,” Holden continued.

“When you’ve been a manager, even briefly, it helps you know what the manager wants when you’re working as an assistant.

“I’ve come across Pembo (Pemberton) before but never worked with him.

“I’ve heard some good things, having spoken to people who have been at the club in recent times, and I’m looking forward to getting know him and the rest of the staff.”