Keates commits future to university football academy
May 18 2015
Former Wrexham FC captain Dean Keates has unveiled his plans for the future.
The popular midfielder was released by the club last week and despite interest from teams in the Football League and Vanarama National League has committed to complete the final two years of his Sports Coaching degree at Glyndŵr University.
The 36 year-old has also signed-up to coach the Glyndŵr Wrexham Football Academy, joining former Liverpool and Wrexham FC striker Lee Jones and Dr Adam Owen, currently with FC Servette in Switzerland.
The Academy has gone from strength to strength – with players from sides including Manchester City, QPR, Leeds United and Leicester City already studying at the Wrexham institution while playing for the Dragons or a feeder club based in the Welsh football league system.
A delighted Dean said: “There has been interest from several clubs but I’m 37 soon and to be honest this is the next natural next step for me.
“I could still play part-time as well as coaching and studying for my degree, so I’m not hanging up my boots just yet, but this will be a progression in my career and gives me the opportunity to coach players coming through the ranks.”
He added: “When Lee and Adam spoke to me about it I was very interested, and then decided this would be a good route for me to learn and develop further.
“It’s an exciting opportunity and I look forward to getting started.”
With the backing of the Professional Football Association (PFA) and support from the League Football Education (LFE), the GWFA initiative provides players with a unique educational strategy whilst still playing and training within a full time professional football environment.
Ambassadors include former Real Madrid and England star Michael Owen, and Arsenal and Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey.
GWFA director Lee Jones is thrilled to have Dean on board and says his involvement will help take the project to another level.
“To have somebody of Dean’s experience now passing on his advice to aspiring young footballers will be huge in terms of development at the Academy and the way it is looking to move forward in the future through Glyndŵr University,” said Lee.
“To have such a high-profile student now coaching elite players will push the limits of developing players even further.”
He added: “As one door closes another one opens and we are delighted to welcome Dean to the fold.
“He has already helped play a significant part as a player last season helping the likes of Corey Roper break in to the first team and we are hopeful that he will be the first of many more in the future under the new Wrexham FC manager Gary Mills.
“Dean has already had an input in selecting new players/students for next season having been present at the exit trials with Adam and myself and will be starting his post in earnest during pre-season from July 1 onwards.”
For more information on the Glyndŵr Wrexham Football Academy email firstname.lastname@example.org