Paul Robinson to lead Blues Under-18s

Paul Robinson
Paul Robinson

Former Blues captain Paul Robinson has been appointed the Club's Lead Professional Development Coach.

Robinson will take charge of Blues Under-18s and is to be assisted by Andy Crabtree, who has been named Academy Development Coach.

As part of this restructuring, Steve Spooner moves to a coaching position with Blues Under-23s, the Development Squad.

Robinson, who has a UEFA A Licence, assisted Blues Under-23s last season, after moving into coaching full-time following his retirement as a player.

“We are really excited about Paul leading our Under-18 programme," commented Academy Manager Kristjaan Speakman.

"He has a wealth of experience as a player and is committed to reaching the same level as a coach. Moving to the Under-18 group provides him the opportunity to lead the coaching process and further practice and refine his coaching.”

Crabtree had been at Coventry City since 2008 and worked across all three development phases. He led their Under-18s team for the last two seasons. He also holds the UEFA A Licence.

“Andy joins us with an impressive C.V. spanning all areas of youth development," said Speakman. "We are really pleased to have been able to attract Andy as he fits all our criteria and, in addition, is local to the area and understands the Club and what we are trying to achieve.”

About Spooner's new role, Speakman explained: "Steve needs no introduction. He's been with our Under-18 programme for 13 seasons and been influential in our progression.

"We felt the time was right to move him to our Under-23 programme; he understands Birmingham City and has the skills and experience to deliver what the players require in this age band.”

At the end of the season, Karl Hooper left his role as assistant to Spooner with the Under-18s. This set in motion a recruitment process in late May that resulted in Crabtree being identified as the outstanding candidate to join the Academy ranks.

The Club would like to wish Karl the very best for the future and we thank him for his hard work and contribution in various coaching roles over the past nine years.