New Head Of Youth Appointed + Parky Update
With youth team coach Gary Parkinson still bravely battling back from the effects of having a massive stroke in September, Blackpool have announced that ex Bristol Rovers midfielder Jamie Shore will be linking up with the club as their new Head of Youth.
Thirty three year old Shore - who runs Jamie Shore Soccer International in Bristol - will relocate to the North West and begin his new position on January 4th.
Shore used to play under Holloway at Bristol Rovers, and the two have remained friends since.
However, this is much more than Ollie helping out one of his old mates; JSSI has fed several youngsters into football clubs (albeit mostly at a lower level than the Premier League) and makes use of French coaching methods rather than English ones (the French methods encourage technique and skill training, which obviously fits in with Ollie's football philosophy).
Speaking to the Bristol Evening Post, Shore said:
'This is a fantastic opportunity for me and I'm delighted to have the chance to work with Ollie again.
'He wants me to work with the reserve and youth team players at Blackpool on a daily basis while developing the youth program - which will heavily involve JSSI.
'I will continue to head up JSSI although I'll only be physically present twice a month because of my commitments at Blackpool.
'Although we will be affiliated to Blackpool, we will remain independent and maintain good working relationships with other professional clubs.
'Our players can still trial and sign for other clubs with our blessing.'
Meanwhile, 'Pool assistant manager Steve Thompson - speaking to the Blackpool Gazette - has revealed that Gary Parkinson is making steady progress in his bid to recover from September's stroke.
Parkinson was suffering from 'locked in' syndrome, where a patient is aware of events around them, but unable to communicate in any way because of a paralysis of the muscles.
However, after intensive physio sessions, Parky is beginning to show signs of improvement as Thommo explains:
'Parky goes through a little routine form Monday to Friday where they work him and give him physio.
'There was a bit of a funny moment when I got there because Debbie [Parky's wife] told me that he'd had a special day because the nurses had given him a shower.
'When everyone had gone out of the room I had a few choice words with him about having a shower with the nurses and he was giggling away!
'It was good to see him laughing and that is important.
'We've got to make sure we keep him stimulated and make sure the lads go over there and have a bit of banter with him because that's what Gary would want.
'As staff and players we have got to make sure we look after his family the best we can and I am sure we will.'
Whilst Vital obviously welcomes Jamie to the club and looks forward to him improving the overall fortunes of our youth set-up, our thoughts (especially at this time of year) are with both Gary Parkinson and his family. Keep fighting Parky!