Port Vale fans favourite joins Port Vale Academy coaching team

Port Vale FC have announced that former midfielder Anthony Griffith has joined the coaching staff at the Vale Academy.

Griffith will help to cover the departure of long-standing coach Harry Wilshaw who has left after twenty years developing some of the club’s key home-produced talent.

Anthony Griffith Factfile…

Griffith was signed by Port Vale manager Lee Sinnott in April 2008 but after Sinnott’s departure he spent much of the 2008–09 season at right-back under new manager Dean Glover. For the 2009–10 season, new manager Micky Adams elected to return Griffith to the role of midfield enforcer and he struck up a midfield pairing with Tommy Fraser.  At the end of the season he was offered a two-year contract and was awarded the player of the year award.

In May 2012, out-of-contract Griffith was reported to have been a target for Leyton Orient, Shrewsbury Town, Northampton Town and Bradford City. He proved unable to turn down the offer of League One football, and quickly signed a two-year deal with Leyton Orient.

He returned to Port Vale on loan in March 2013 until the end of the 2012–13 season.  After a slow start, he soon returned to top form and won plaudits and ‘man of the match’ awards for his performances. He re-joined Port Vale on a permanent basis in July 2013, signing a one-year contract.  Despite making 45 appearances across the season he was not offered a new contract in the summer.

A press release from the club said:

A number of changes have recently been made to the coaching staff at the Vale Academy.

Harry Wilshaw has left the coaching team after over 20 years of dedicated service to the Club. During his time at the Vale, Harry coached many young players and was instrumental in the development of a significant number who progressed to professional level including Billy Paynter, Chris Birchall, James Gibbons, Nathan Smith and Dan Turner.

As well as his coaching duties Harry was a highly committed member of the Academy, organising annual trips to International tournaments in Northern Europe for the Academy players and their
families. Everyone at the Vale sends Harry and his family best wishes for the future.

To add to the extensive Academy coaching team a big welcome goes out to former fans favourite Anthony Griffith, who will work alongside Danny Pugh with the under 14 and under 16 teams.

Meanwhile, Scott Brown and first team goalkeeping coach Ronnie Sinclair will both be helping to nurture the Academy goalkeepers.

Academy Manager Sevvy Aslam commented: “We are delighted that Anthony has joined our coaching team and it’s also great that current first team players are prepared to give up their time to
help with coaching duties.

“There’s no doubt that their extensive experience will be a great benefit in helping to develop the Academy youngsters.”