Cardiff City 'close to my heart' - player-coach Danny Gabbidon

Danny Gabbidon has returned to Cardiff City as a first team player-coach on a one-year deal
Danny Gabbidon has returned to Cardiff City as a first team player-coach on a one-year deal

Danny Gabbidon says he is delighted to return Cardiff City after signing a one-year deal as a first team player-coach.

The 35-year-old trained with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team over the summer after being released by Crystal Palace.

Gabbidon made 219 appearances for the Bluebirds during his first spell at the club.

"It's a chance for me to come back to a club that's close to my heart," said the 49-cap Welsh centre-back.

"I was really delighted to accept the offer.

"This is the club where it all took off for me.

Danny Gabbidon on returning to Cardiff
"The club has come such a long way from when I left."It really is like it's a Premier League club and that's where it belongs."

"When I came to Cardiff was when I really developed as a player.

"I owe a lot to the club so to have a chance to come back here and help the team is as exciting as when I signed for the club the first time."

Gabbidon spent five years at Cardiff after signing from West Bromwich Albion in August 2000.

The Cwmbran-born player joined Palace on a free transfer in September 2012 but was one of 12 players released by the Eagles in May.

Gabbidon started his coaching badges in 2012 and now hopes to pass on his experience to the Bluebirds' younger players.

"It's something I have been thinking about and I am interested in," he said.

"Coaching is a bit different from playing so it is a bit scary but it's also exciting.

"It's about me passing on the experience I've had from playing."

The defender helped Cardiff win promotion to the second-tier of English football in 2003 but left for West Ham United in 2005.

Gabbidon has been impressed by the club's progress since then and believes the Bluebirds are ready to return to the Premier League.

"The club has come such a long way from when I left," said the centre-back.

"The training ground at the Vale and the stadium are incredible.

"It's a little bit strange coming back and seeing all the changes.

"It really is like it's a Premier League club and that's where it belongs."

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