Darren Purse was announced as the new Cardiff City U23 manager on Friday, taking over the role left behind by first team manager Steve Morison.
Purse has been involved in youth football in a number of roles since hanging up his playing boots and reaches the summit of that side of the game in graduating to U23 level.
The Bluebirds have integrated a number of players from their youth ranks into the first team this season and Morison will be hoping that Purse can continue to steer the club’s younger talents in the right direction.
As a player, Purse previously made 123 appearances and scored 12 goals during a four-year spell with Cardiff between 2005 and 2009.
Sharing his reaction to getting the job on Twitter, the former centre back wrote: “Could not be happier. Delighted to be back at this great club and supporting the young players on their footballing journey. I will be as committed and passionate about my role at Cardiff City as I was as a captain and player.”
Could not be happier. Delighted to be back at this great club and supporting the young players on their footballing journey. I will be as committed and passionate about my role @CardiffCityFC as I was as a captain and player. #bluebirds #ccfc https://t.co/Gep0Nj2gMb
— Darren Purse (@darrenpurse) December 17, 2021
The senior side are in the midst of a relegation battle in the second tier and could use all the support from the up and coming players at the club they can.
Joel Bagan; Tom Sang, Kieron Evans, Mark Harris, Rubin Colwill, Sam Bowen, Isaak Davies, Kieron Evans and Chanka Zimba have all demonstrated the pathway to the first team that is present in the Welsh capital this season. Purse will be tasked with finding other players to follow in their footsteps.
Quiz: Have Cardiff City signed a player from each of these 20 clubs in the last 5 seasons?
It is always nice to see a former successful player return to a club in a coaching role and Purse will be determined to make the most of his opportunity with the Bluebirds.
It feels a little bit uncertain whether or not Steve Morison will carry on in the manager role beyond the end of the season at present, but if Cardiff safely climb into mid table then he may earn the job on a longer term basis.
Currently in their final season of parachute payments, it would be a huge help in Cardiff’s squad building if they were able to plug some of the gaps with competent youth players and the club will be hoping that Purse can contribute to that effort. It will be interesting to see the club’s approach to the U23 side in the coming months.