Former Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov is expected to be back in a coaching role at Aston Villa, as he recovers from his fight with leukaemia.
When Stiliyan Petrov was diagnosed with leukaemia back in March 2012, it was one of the most tragic tales in recent history in English football. The Bulgarian was on of the most influential player in the Aston Villa squad and most significantly, he was the leader of the pack. The 33-year-old has suspended his playing career since then as he waged started his fight against the life threatening disease.
By August last year, Villa announce the delightful news that Petrov is winning his battle against leukaemia and that the disease is in remission. It seems unlikely that the midfielder will resume is footballing career, but some things in life are more important than football.
Petrov’s current contract with Aston Villa will expire this summer and it is believed that the former Bulgarian international will hand up his boots and he continues his recovery. But Aston Villa have bigger plans for Petrov at the club.
Manager Paul Lambert has expressed his desire to prolong Petrov’s stay at the club and wants him to join the coaching staff of the English club. Lambert has hoped that Petrov can work with the young players at Villa and pass on his valuable experience, but he reiterated that his recovery from the illness remains the priority.
“Thankfully he is getting there.
“Nearer the time I will speak with him. We will have to see how he feels.
“It is a wee bit away. I don’t think he could do the stressful job of being a manager.
“I think he would maybe like to work with younger kids or something, if coaching was a field he was going to go down.
“He was a great player and could give great advice to everyone, but the main thing is he recovers fully from a horrible illness.” – The Aston Villa manager was quoted in press.
It would be wonderful to see Petrov get back to doing what he does best and a coaching role is probably the second best thing to playing football. For neutrals, one of the most heartfelt moments this season has been the site of Aston Villa fans giving a standing ovation during the 19th minute of every match in the honour of Aston Villa’s number 19 Stiliyan Petrov and the fact that most of the fans of the opponent team joins them in what has now become a ritual, represents everything we love about the sport.