Former Yeovil Town goalkeeper David Coles is the new goalkeeping coach at West Ham United. The 46 year old has followed manager Avram Grant from Portsmouth to Upton Park thus maintaining his position as a long-standing Premier League level coach, having also been at Southampton during their top flight days.
The Wandsworth-born custodian had a fairly low-key playing career, being on the books of Fulham, Birmingham City, Mansfield Town, Newport County, Brighton and Hove Albion, Basingstoke Town, Farnborough, Aldershot and Gloucester City.
Aside from Aldershot though, who he made 150 appearances for across two spells, it was at Yeovil Town that he cemented a strong first team record, making 131 appearances for the Glovers across three full seasons between 1991 and 1994. During that time he became a fans' favourite for his superb shot-stopping skills, although the introduction of the backpass rule did not suit him too kindly, with his kicking not as strong as his handling in the box.
His big break came in July 1999 when Saints manager Dave Jones took him to the then top flight club, and he worked with the likes of Glenn Hoddle, Gordon Strachan and Paul Sturrock, until Harry Redknapp arrived at the club. When Redknapp left Southampton for South Coast rivals Portsmouth, Coles went with him, and Redknapp made several attempts to later take him to White Hart Lane when he moved once again. But it's taken Pompey's demise and former boss Avram Grant's move to the Boleyn Ground to tempt Coles to move again.
Having worked with Welsh international Paul Jones, Finland keeper Antti Niemi and England keeper David James, Coles has become one of the best-known goalkeeping coaches in the country. It was his link with Yeovil Town, and his close friend Len Bond that allowed Asmir Begovic to come to Huish Park on loan, with Coles and Bond happy to relay Begovic's progress with the Glovers between themselves.
In 2003, Coles wrote his first book - "Goalkeeping - The Specialist" that has become a well-known volume amongst budding goalkeepers.
Link: David Coles : Yeovil Town Statistics.
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