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Former Aston Villa, Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion defender Liam Ridgewell joins Dover Athletic as a coach

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Former Premier League defender Liam Ridgewell has joined Dover Athletic’s coaching staff.

Ridgewell brings a wealth of experience to Crabble, having played top-flight football for Aston Villa, Birmingham and West Brom.

Liam Ridgewell in action for Aston Villa against Charlton's Kevin Lisbie in 2005. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Liam Ridgewell in action for Aston Villa against Charlton's Kevin Lisbie in 2005. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Dover were on the lookout for a first-team coach after Darren Hare left the club last month to take on a new role outside the game.

Ridgewell, 36, retired from the game earlier this year but has been keen to get into coaching and fits the bill for Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler.

“I didn’t know him personally but obviously I was aware of what he’s done in the game,” explained Hessenthaler.

“He asked if he could come in and it’s an opportunity to work with the boys.

“It’s a voice that’s been there and done it in the game and he brings different opinions. He sees things the right way and the boys have taken to him already.

“We’re working on something so he can come in until the end of the season, but whether it becomes that long term or not we will have to wait and see.

“When you look at some of the goals we’ve conceded, can he work with the boys and help make us better?”

Ridgewell played 52 minutes for Southend at the start of last season but hasn’t featured since, officially retiring from the game in April.

He’s not expected to play for Dover, although Hessenthaler would have loved to call on a player of that experience in the National League.

“I did ask him and he smiled,” said Hessenthaler. “I’ve got to say he does look lean and fit so you never know - I might keep badgering him!”

Ridgewell played for Aston Villa, Birmingham and West Brom between 2002 and 2014, making more than 300 appearances. The former England under-21 international moved to the MLS to play for Portland Timbers six years ago but has since had brief spells at Wigan, Brighton, Hull and Southend, who he left in January.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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