Spink not keen on Villa job under Bruce

11 Oct

Nigel Spink was Steve Bruce's Birmingham City goalkeeping coach in his six years in charge at St Andrew's from December 2001 to November 2007

Spink was Steve Bruce’s goalkeeping coach in six years with Birmingham City up to November 2007

Aston Villa legend Nigel Spink has dismissed reports of a goalkeeper coaching role with the Midlands club if his old boss Steve Bruce is appointed as the club’s new manager.

Spink, part of Bruce’s backroom team at Birmingham City, Wigan Athletic and Sunderland, has been linked to Villa.

But, although he hopes Bruce gets the job, at 58, Spink says he is too old.

“I’m racing towards 60. If I started kicking 100 balls a day, probably my leg would fall off,” he told BBC WM.

“I’m pro Steve Bruce. And I’m happy to speak to him about all departments and would give him 100 per cent backing. But there’s nothing in that story.

“I haven’t spoken to Steve for some 18 months or so. I texted him when Hull City got to the FA Cup final, wished him all the best and got a nice reply. But I’ve since been busy with my business.

“And if he was to ask me, the answer would probably be no. That might come as a surprise to Villa fans, but a goalkeeping coach job is for a younger man.”

Spink continued: “I’m fit and healthy, my business is running well and, if I took the job and it only lasted two years, I would lose business which it would take a while to get back.

“In any case, I enjoy being a fan. I know we haven’t had much to jump and down about over the last two years, but I still enjoy going down there. To be sat watching the supporters and their passion has been a real eye opener.”

Spink, who came off the bench against Bayern Munich in Rotterdam to help the club win the European Cup in 1982, was also part of the last Villa team to be promoted to the top flight under Graham Taylor in 1988.

After working as a goalkeeping coach for four clubs, he now runs his own white-van courier business, in Sutton Coldfield.

Reserve keeper Nigel Spink and matchwinner Peter Withe (left) were the heroes of the greatest day in Villa's history, the European Cup final win over Bayern Munich in Rotterdam in 1982<!–

Reserve keeper Nigel Spink and matchwinner Peter Withe (left) were the heroes of the greatest day in Villa’s history, the European Cup final win over Bayern Munich in Rotterdam in 1982

Villa’s managerial situation – Latest Analysis

Pat Murphy, BBC Radio 5 live

“Villa’s managerial recruitment team have completed their due diligence on the short list and will recommend a candidate in the next 24 hours to the club’s owner, Dr Tony Xia.

“Dr Xia is in China on business and, unlike his sole decision in the summer to appoint Roberto Di Matteo, will be relying on the findings of chief executive Keith Wyness, former manager Brian Little and technical director Steve Round. But the final decision rests with Villa’s owner.

“Steve Clarke, acting caretaker manager was interviewed on Monday, while the three discussions Bruce has had with Wyness over the past five days constitute a formal interview in the opinion of the recruitment team. But Bruce and Clarke are not the only candidates.

“Villa are also considering an approach to a manager contracted to another club, but need to be certain he is the one they definitely want before committing themselves.

“If they do and they fail in their overtures after asking for permission to speak to that manager, then Bruce and/or Clarke will know they were not first choice.

“There is no timescale on the appointment. Once the candidate agrees to join Villa, there will be detailed discussions over the contract, backroom staff and budgets. It may be a day or so before the successful applicant is publicly confirmed. But Bruce remains the odds-on favourite.”

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