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STOKE City have confirmed the return of Club legend Ryan Shawcross, who will take on the role of Under 18s Academy Coach this month.

The former Potters captain, who made 453 appearances for the Club from 2008 to 2021, will assist Dave Hibbert, who takes on the role of Under 18s Academy Lead Coach having previously worked with a variety of age groups within the Stoke City Academy.

Shawcross, 35, returned to the UK last year after making his first steps into professional coaching with Inter Miami, and will now support the development of the next generation of players looking to follow in his footsteps in donning the red and white stripes in City’s first team.

“Ryan needs no introduction to Stoke City supporters, owing to the quality and longevity of what he achieved here on the pitch,” said Technical Director Ricky Martin.

“The standards he set in terms of his professionalism – and the success he enjoyed here during his playing career – make him a fine role-model for our young players.

“We want to develop more homegrown players and Ryan’s knowledge of sustaining high performance at the top level of the game, especially at this football club, will provide a unique insight and opportunity to learn for the young players he will work with both now and in years to come.”

Shawcross, who sits eighth on the Club’s all-time appearances list having enjoyed a successful 14-year stay in the Potteries, added:

“I am delighted to be back at the Club and very thankful for the opportunity to be able to continue my career at Stoke City.

“My affinity with the Club and the supporters is well-known. I always hoped that I would come back to a place that has given me and my family so much.

“Since I returned to the UK last year, I have been using my time to visit different clubs, broaden my knowledge of coaching methods and study the game to best prepare myself for an opportunity like this.

“I think the fact I have wide-ranging experiences at this Club that I can draw on clearly has its benefits, though I am also mindful this is a different chapter for me and the Club – a positive one for all parties – and that I’ll improve myself as a coach by learning from the staff within the Academy.

“The Club has invested significantly in the Academy and continues to do so. It is clear from speaking to Ricky that there is a desire to produce more homegrown players for the first team and I believe I can play a part in that in the coming years.

“I have really missed the buzz of being out on the grass and within the environment daily and look forward to getting to work next week.”

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