Why AFC Wimbledon have employed a Restarts Coach

Andy Parslow was appointed Restarts Coach last month

Andy Parslow was appointed Restarts Coach last month

AS we reported at the end of last month, AFC Wimbledon have unveiled a new specialist coaching structure - and it's unique in League One.

Among the specialists is Restarts Coach Andy Parslow, who has been explaining what his role entails. Parslow joined the club’s Academy in the summer of 2019 and was promoted to interim first-team coach when Mark Robinson was appointed caretaker manager in January.

When Robinson got the job on a full-time basis last month he unveiled a number of new roles, including Parslow as Restarts Coach.

Parslow told AFC Wimbledon TV: “Every time the ball goes dead, that’s when I’m getting to work - throw ins, free kicks, corners, kick offs. I want to start looking at goal kicks as well.

"It’s for and against, the attacking and defensive side of it. It’s just about marginal gains. I looked at things last summer and the average conversion rate for corners was just under 2.5%, which was next to nothing. The best team in the League last season were Rotherham, who scored 12 goals from their corners, meaning they were up at 5%.

“If we can make a 2 or 3% difference, three, four or five more goals from corners, it turns draws into wins, losses into draws. It’s taking care of the small details and doing everything I can to try and help us be as best as we can be.”

Parslow, who worked at Watford’s Academy before joining AFC Wimbledon, said the players had been open to his new role.

“They’ve been really receptive to all the ideas,” he said. “I think there’s been quite a cultural shift. It’s not just a case of me coming to the players with an idea - 'this is what we’re going to do' - some of the players have been texting me, saying, 'have you seen this corner, have you seen this routine?'

“It’s more of a two-way communication and ownership from the players. It shows they’re thinking about it. They’re not just taking on information, they’re being proactive.”

And he believes other clubs will look to adopt the idea of specialist coaches.

“I think it’s the modern way, I think it’s the way forward and that more clubs will look to replicate what we’re trying to do here,” he said.

“I don’t think we’re the first to do it but we’re certainly ahead of the curve.”

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