In League One news, there’s a change in Cheltenham Town’s coaching staff involving former Stoke City player and coach Kevin Russell. Russell and the club have mutually agreed to part ways, marking the first staff adjustment since the arrival of Darrell Clarke, the former Port Vale manager, as the new head coach.
Kevin Russell initially joined Cheltenham as the assistant manager during the preseason, having previously collaborated with the then-first team manager, Wade Elliott, in the under-21s setup at Stoke City. Following Elliott’s dismissal on September 20, Russell made it clear that he was not interested in the top managerial position.
However, Russell did temporarily step up as the caretaker manager for matches against Stevenage and Lincoln City while the club conducted interviews to find a permanent replacement for Elliott. He continued to assist Clarke during the first two games of Clarke’s tenure but bid farewell after Cheltenham’s 1-1 draw with Derby County last Saturday.
David Bloxham, the chairman of the Robins, expressed his gratitude to Kevin Russell, commending his hard work and dedication. He also acknowledged Russell’s willingness to take on the challenging role of managing the team during the transition between Wade’s departure and Darrell’s appointment. Bloxham wished Russell the best in his future endeavors and stated that he will always be a welcome visitor to the Completely-Suzuki Stadium.
Darrell Clarke will now select his own assistant, while Ashley Vincent, the 38-year-old former Vale winger, will continue in his role as the first team coach. It’s worth noting that Dave Watson, the set piece coach, is reportedly no longer with the team. Cheltenham currently sits at the bottom of League One, having suffered 10 defeats in their first 12 games, and their recent match against Derby County marked their first goal of the season.
Before his time at Cheltenham, Kevin Russell had a nine-year stint as a youth coach at Stoke, mainly focusing on the under-21s and under-18s. He enjoyed popularity as a player during the early 1990s under the management of Lou Macari, and as a coach, he played a significant role in nurturing talents such as Nathan Lowe, Emre Tezgel, and Sol Sidibe.