Many Millwall fans were delighted to see the return of one of their heroes earlier this summer, with Lions legend Paul Robinson returning to the Bermondsey based club to take on the role of assistant manager of the Lions’ under 23 development side, in July of this year.
Robinson has now spoken of his delight at being back at the club which helped to forge his career in the professional game, with the former Millwall captain expressing his determination to do well in his new well, as he and under 23 manager Kevin Nugent seek to progress more products of the club’s youth academy to the first team.
This is a task that has proven to have been successful to some extent, with players such as Billy Mitchell and George Alexander recieving first-team game time last season, with the latter making his full first-team debut for the Lions against Oxford United last month in the Carabao Cup:
“It’s great to be back, I’ve enjoyed every day,” he said. “It’s slightly strange being the new guy in a place I know so well, but it’s brilliant to be back – there’s a real good feeling about the club and I’m enjoying getting stuck into the work.
“My biggest role is assisting Kev and helping out, and also, in the meantime, I get out and about at weekends, watching games and looking at potential new recruits. I work on both of those and building my experience on the coaching side of things. Kevin is a brilliant person for me to learn from, he has been incredibly generous with his time and advice.
“I’m under no illusions now that this is a new career for me and that I am starting from the bottom. The opportunity to come back to the club came up, and I couldn’t wait to take it.”
Robinson also told MillwallFC.co.uk, of how beneficial it has been for him to work alongside former teammate and current Lions first-team manager Neil Harris, with the former centre back commenting on how he always foresaw his friend becoming a manager.
Robinson’s appointment continued Millwall’s historical trend of employing their former players to work with the youth and development section of the club, with the likes of Andy Frampton and Scott Fitzgerald having taken on roles as coach and academy director respectively.
It is fair to say that Paul Robinson represents a smart appointment for Millwall’s player development department, with the former AFC Wimbledon player having made over 500 career appearances, including 361 Millwall games for the former Lions captain.
This playing experience will no doubt prove vital in developing some of the club’s best young talent into first-team ready players, especially when combined with Robinson’s coaching experience which he gained at another of his old clubs, Portsmouth, as part of the management team which served under his old manager Kenny Jackett.
The 37-year-old’s guidance and advice will certainly be beneficial for the defenders in the Millwall under 23’s side, with Robinson playing the almost entirety of his career in central defence.