Petrov steps down from coaching role
Stiliyan Petrov has made the decision to temporarily step down from his role as assistant coach at Aston Villa as he continues his recovery from acute leukaemia.
The Bulgarian has been in remission for 12 months and took up a position alongside Gordon Cowans with the club's Under-21 side in May.
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Petrov is determined to forge a career in coaching and help develop more talent for the Premier League club, but feels he has worked too hard, too soon in his new role and needs to take a step back before returning, hopefully in the new year.
"I love my new role with the club, I love the involvement and I want to continue to make a valid contribution. In order to do this to the best of my ability, however, I need to take some time away as I have found the day-to-day demands of the job to be just a little too much too soon," said Petrov.
"I intend to spend some time with my family and in six months or so we'll assess how everything is then. Physically, I just need to build myself up some more before I can throw myself into things in the only way I know how which is full-on commitment.
"I appreciate very much the understanding shown by the club. I have spoken to the manager and to the chief executive and they, in particular, have been great in helping me to reach a decision which I feel is the right one while also reassuring me that the club will always be here for me, which I know in my heart.
"Thank you again to all of the fans and I will very much remain a part of the Villa family throughout the coming six months or so while I concentrate on getting stronger and, physically, being back to myself."
Villa manager Paul Lambert emphasised that Petrov will continue to have a visible presence at the club even while taking a step back from day-to-day duties.
"We are extremely grateful at the club for the commitment, effort and dedication which Stiliyan has brought to his role," he said.
"I fully understated his position and the club is entirely supportive of his decision. It's a case just now of it having been a bit too much too soon at this moment in time but there will always be something here for Stan.
"He's totally aware of this and we'll revisit things when he feels he is fully ready for that day-to-day involvement again. One thing is certain, he will always have a part to play at this football club and everyone at Aston Villa will echo that sentiment."