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Coppinger: New assistant Gribble stood out as ideal for what the squad needed

9 November 2022

Club News

Coppinger: New assistant Gribble stood out as ideal for what the squad needed

9 November 2022

James Coppinger said it was clear Rovers had the perfect candidate for the assistant head coach role under their noses in Chad Gribble.

Head of football operations Coppinger and head coach Danny Schofield have been in discussions over adding an assistant to the coaching staff since the latter’s appointment last month.

In the meantime, Gribble stepped up from his role with the U18 group to assist first team coaching.

And Coppinger said in observing the 33-year-old and speaking with players and staff, it became clear Gribble fit the bill of the type of assistant the club needed.

“We wanted to spend a couple of weeks after appointing the new head coach to make sure we got the right person,” Coppinger said.

“Me and Danny spoke about it along with the board. We’d interviewed a few people but over the two weeks that Chad was with the first team, it was massively apparent that he fits the bill.

“I’ve been really impressed with him since he came to the club in the summer and the work he’s done with the Academy and the U18s. He had 12 years at Exeter, working his way up.

“You can get someone in who you don’t really know and take a calculated gamble but this guy has been in the club for six months and we;ve been able to have a look at him.

“We know what we’re getting with him - a fantastic coach, a fantastic person and someone with an unbelievable work ethic that buys into everything we are trying to do.

"In the last few weeks it was almost like a trial period without it being a trial period. He had two weeks to impress. The way he transitioned from being told he was going to take the first team, he never batted an eyelid, never shrunk or shirked responsibility.

“For me it was a no-brainer and when Danny agreed and was happy with the appointment, we decided to do it.”

Coppinger had earmarked Gribble for a future role in the first team following his arrival from Exeter City in the summer, when he was appointed head professional development phase coach in the summer.

He said: “When you see him coach and deliver sessions, you looked and thought this guy could move into the first team. When that opportunity came about, it was about making sure it’s a right fit and also understanding why we’re doing it.

“There will be people questioning whether we need an experienced assistant but for us it’s exactly what we need. It’s exactly what we think will work moving forward.

“Short, medium and long term, it’s the right fit.

“There is confidence in his coaching ability, the way he communicates, his work ethic, how hard he works, how organised he is, how process driven he is - everything we need in an assistant head coach is what he’s got.

“He’s ready for that opportunity, he’s hungry, he wants to prove that he can do it at first team level and what we saw in those two weeks, there’s no reason why he can’t.”

Gribble spent 12 years at Exeter, working his way through the Grecians' highly-lauded Academy up to U18 level before making the switch to Rovers in May.

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