Stiliyan ‘Stan’ Petrov could be kept on at Aston Villa long after he completes his battle against cancer.
Aston Villa fans have been pretty split at times this season as the club continues to fight against the threat of relegation. However, one thing which has kept everyone unified is the support and affection for club captain Stiliyan Petrov.
Petrov has spoken about his fight against cancer, which is progressing well, and has reiterated his desire to stay connected with Aston Villa for the rest of his immediate future.
Petrov has been suffering with leukaemia, which he first thought was just a common cold and unfortunately the illness has deprived the club of one of their best midfielders, who would have definitely made a difference to the team this season.
Paul Lambert has confirmed the club will leave the door open to Petrov in relation to a future role with the club, with the Bulgarian being tipped to become a coach at the Premier League outfit when he’s fit enough to handle that job.
He’s always been a very realistic person which is why he‘s ruled out ever playing professional football again, but it would be very naïve of the club not to try and retain his experience in some form.
He could easily be protected from the stress of a top managerial or coaching role at the club, with the offer of a chance to coach players at a very young level.
There certainly wouldn’t be any harm in that because Petrov always displayed a solid technique and made the basic correct decisions during his playing days which he can pass on.
Petrov has endured the worst period of his life which means any chance he gets from this point on, he’s likely to approach it with a completely different perspective than he would have done otherwise.
He’s also in a position which could benefit the club in terms of his approachability as a person.
Aston Villa currently have a very young team with players experiencing things at young ages, which could ultimately affect them as they get older.
Whether it’s something to do with injury, responsibility, wealth or illness, Petrov is the exact sort of ambassadorial figure that Aston Villa can use because in effect, there is no one better placed to remind these young players of how lucky they really are.
The injury and illness point is something that he will always now be able to speak confidently about.
Football is a game laced with examples of players worrying about a certain injury ending their career or something affecting their chances of becoming a top professional player.
Petrov has revealed that at one point he was a mess because he thought he was going to die and that’s not a mental strain that many of us will ever experience until we get to old age.
Therefore if there are any players that Villa feel needs a kick up the backside, they have the perfect individual to send that player to because whatever injury or illness it is, it’s unlikely to be worse than what Petrov has gone through.
How do you think he’d get on as a coach?
image: © ell brown