Derry leaves Palace to become O'Neil's assistant at Wolves
Written by Training Ground Guru — August 14, 2023
SHAUN DERRY has left Crystal Palace to become Gary O’Neil’s assistant at Wolves.
As TGG reported last week, six staff left Wolves along with manager Julen Lopetegui and Derry became the first replacement under the new regime. Bournemouth first-team coach Tim Jenkins has also now joined, having previously worked with O'Neil at Bournemouth (from December 2022) and with Liverpool Under-23s.
Jenkins' background is in analysis. He began his career as an analyst with Prozone in 2001 and joined the Reds in 2012 as Academy Head of Analysis, which is when he first worked with O'Neil, who was Liverpool's U23s assistant from August 2020 to February 2021.
Meanwhile, West Ham U21s Lead Mark Robson is expected to be named on O’Neil's staff within the next 24 hours. Robson made 56 appearances for the Hammers over two seasons in the early 1990s and has been their U23s Lead since November 2021.
Palace boss Roy Hodgson confirmed Derry’s departure at the weekend.
“It was going very well – we were very happy with him but, suddenly, another friend of his - who he has worked with in the past (they played together at Portsmouth) - Gary O’Neil, gets the job at Wolves and asked him to become his assistant manager," he said.
“There is no way we could stand in his way. We would have been happy if he said, ‘I can’t accept this opportunity.’ But when he said, ‘I need to take this opportunity - it’s a big step forward in my career, I can’t turn this down,’ we reluctantly said, ‘We understand and you go with our best wishes.’
“I would have been happier if Gary O’Neil had not come in and tempted him away.”
Derry has a long association with Palace. He made 226 appearances for them in two separate spells as a player and was appointed as their U23s boss in September 2019, before being promoted to first-team coach by Patrick Vieira in August 2021.
He was sacked by the French World Cup winner in February this year, but then reinstated in June by Hodgson. However, the 76-year-old interestingly revealed that Derry had never actually left the club.
“He was contracted to the club, but he was on gardening leave for a period of time,” the Eagles boss explained. “He was on gardening leave when we joined in March.
“He was being paid by the club but wasn’t doing any work. He wanted to work, but there were no vacancies for him. The previous manager and management staff hadn’t wanted him.
“We - myself, Paddy McCarthy, Ray Lewington and Dean Kiely - were happy to welcome him back to work with us. We thought it would be good to have him with us again because we like him as a person – he’s a really good coach and a really good Crystal Palace man.”