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Former Wolves midfielder Karl Henry makes a move into coaching at Boldmere St Michaels

Former Wolves skipper Karl Henry has taken a coaching role within the academy set-up of leading non-league club Boldmere St Michaels.

Karl Henry has joined Boldmere
Karl Henry has joined Boldmere

Henry, who captained his home-town Wolves to the Championship title in the 2008/09 season, will become the juniors head coach within the Boldmere set-up, working closely with the coaches of the Under 11-16 MJPL (Midland Junior Premier League) teams to help implement a modern possession-based style of football.

The exciting challenge with a club promoted last season to the fourth tier of non-league football is the first major step on the coaching journey which the 39-year-old Henry is hoping will take him all the way to a senior position in the Premier League.

“Boldmere St Michaels are a forward thinking and progressive club with a great vision and one which I am proud to become a part of,” says Henry, who will also be managing the under-11 MJPL side himself.

“They want to play an attractive possession-based game and become synonymous with that all the way through the club.

“I think we are fortunate in the Premier League at the moment to have two of the best coaches in the world in Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp and two of the best teams in Manchester City and Liverpool.

“They both play a similar style of football which will be around for a long time and I think that is something we can all aspire to.

“We want to create an environment where we are encouraging conversations and brainstorming around tactics and working together to produce really talented footballers throughout the age groups.

“There is a pathway there for those players to progress through to the Boldmere first team, but also the prospect that for those at elite level, there could be the opportunity to move to the academy of a professional club.

“We want to attract young players who want to be professional footballers and we want Boldmere to be that link between grassroots and professional clubs.”

While a former player forging strong links with a non-league club and coaching junior teams is by no means unique, doing so while trying to implement such a specific brand of football is perhaps not so common.

It’s a philosophy which looks set to prove a ‘perfect fit’ with the junior section at Boldmere, a club with a long and proud history and an excellent reputation on the Midlands non-league scene.

“We are very excited and pleased that Karl has chosen to join our fantastic football club and will help develop our young talented junior players and passionate junior managers and coaches,” says BSM Junior Chairman Ralph Simmons.

“It is a very exciting time for our historic football club as we celebrate our 140-year anniversary in 2023.

“This season has been a huge success story with both the men’s and women’s senior teams securing promotion so this is perfect timing for Karl – a former Premier League player - to join our great club and continue our journey together in the capacity of Junior Head Coach.

“The partnership is a perfect fit for BSM - the experience and professional coaching and player mentoring that Karl will bring will improve the level of coaching for players of all abilities and enhance the professional pathway for our most talented players.

“Hopefully Karl will develop and promote the club’s motto which is ‘Pride, Passion, Belief’ and I’m sure he will enjoy his time at our fantastic club.”

With 574 career appearances, including 127 in the Premier League, Henry has plenty of experience to pass on, along with a drive and determination to succeed as he embarks on the next phase of his career.

He is set to complete his UEFA ‘B’ licence in the coming weeks before starting his ‘A’ licence next year, and will also be coaching seven-to-nine year-olds at Boldmere as part of his Karl Henry Academy.

“There is no substitute for going out and coaching - that is what they tell you on the courses - so getting out and coaching different age groups and working with other coaches is adding more strings to my bow,” Henry adds.

“This is the first step for me on my coaching journey with which I have ambitions to go right to the very top because one day I would like to be a Premier League manager.

“This is a long-term project and I’m delighted to join Boldmere St Michaels. I am really looking forward to working with the quality group of coaches and playing a part in the club’s ongoing success.”

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