John Deehan appointed Plymouth Argyle director of football

John Deehan
Deehan has 20 years of coaching experience

Plymouth Argyle have appointed experienced coach John Deehan as their director of football.

The 54-year-old managed Wigan and Norwich City in the 1990s and was caretaker boss of Aston Villa in 2002.

His last role was as a scout at Grimsby Town and had been out of work since the end of last season.

Argyle owner James Brent announced this month that the club would be bringing in a coach to mentor novice manager Carl Fletcher.

"I have been very impressed by the coaching ability of Carl Fletcher, and I think his international career, and his vast and varied football career, will put him in good stead for the situation he has found himself in," Deehan said.

"I think it's commendable, what Carl's done so far. He has turned the ship around to some extent and, at the moment, his trend seems to be that he has got a competitive team on the pitch.

"My role will be to try and help Carl continue that trend for the football club."

Argyle are just above the League Two relegation places after a year of financial turmoil, and Deehan said his priority was to ensure the club did not get relegated to the Blue Square Bet Premier.

"It's the plight of two clubs to go down and our core job is to try to make sure that Plymouth Argyle are not among them," he said.

Former AFC Bournemouth and Doncaster boss Sean O'Driscoll has been heavily linked to the role after advising Fletcher before Christmas, but he took up a post at Nottingham Forest last week.

Deehan played for Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion, Norwich City, Ipswich and Barnsley in a 15-year career from 1975.

The England Under-21 international led Norwich City as they were relegated from the Premier League in 1995 and was in charge of Wigan from 1995-98.

Since then he has had numerous coaching roles and has served as head of recruitment at Grimsby and director of football at Lincoln City and Northampton Town.

He also coached at Aston Villa where he was caretaker manager following the resignation of John Gregory in 2002 and was assistant manager at Kettering Town in 2009.

"I am delighted that John is joining Argyle," James Brent said.

"We are now adding additional experience that will hopefully further help us avoid relegation and build a base for future league success."

And Fletcher says he is hoping to use Deehan's wisdom to improve his own coaching skills.

"I am pleased to have John here," he said.

"It will be great to be able to draw upon his considerable experience for the challenge ahead."

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