Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has praised sporting director Dougie Freedman for helping to bring in new goalkeeping coach Dean Kiely, writes Andrew McSteen.
The former Charlton Athletic shotstopper is the first ‘signing’ made by the ex-England boss.
Freedman, appointed to his current role in August, now gets his first major bite at a transfer window to strengthen the club’s fight to stay in the Premier League.
– the Croydon-born manager’s first ‘signing’ for the Eagles.
“He’s brought an awful lot to the table,” said Hodgson “He was an appointment from our chairman Steve Parish.
“The mandate he has is not purely a mandate in relation to my work i.e. scouting and things that happen around the training field, it is larger than that because he’s helping Steve in lots of areas around the club.
“His aim is to make certain that the squad I’m working with is the best possible squad and that the players are in the best possible physical and mental shape. Any off-the-field issues might be ones he can help with and to really free us on the field to just concentrate on what we think is the major aspect of our job – to train and coach the players to try to make them better as individuals and as a team.
“We are in very close contact and when it comes down to transfers, it’s very simple. He and I work closely together, with Steve, and they identify major areas where strengthening of the squad is in order and where it would help us and it’s Doug’s job most of all to bring the matter about.”
Kiely, who made more than 200 appearances for Palace’s rivals Charlton, came to Selhurst Park from Preston North End after previous goalkeeping coach Martyn Margetson moved to Everton last month to link-up once again with Sam Allardyce, who originally brought him to SE25.
“Dean Kiely is a very clear and good example [of the work Dougie does],” said Hodgson. “We weren’t keen to lose Martyn exactly, but we understood his desire to go back and work with the person who brought him to the club in the first place – but this left us without a goalkeeping coach.
“I and Dougie identified people who could possibly be a replacement. I worked with Dean at West Bromwich Albion and know how good he is.
“Dougie negotiated with the club and with Dean, I left all of that with him. Dean obviously knew from me that it could be possible, but I praise Doug because he had to do all the nitty-gritty work bringing the transfer or move from Preston to Palace about.
“We’re very happy to have Dean here as it means I think we will have a very strong team behind the actual football team with people I know, people I trust and people whose ideas on football and the way we train it and play it are totally in line with my own.”
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