Youth Team Coach Matt Rains thanks the club after moving to Leicester CityShrewsbury Town today annouced that Youth Team Coach Matt Rains has left the club to join Leicester City.
Since joining Town’s staff in 2012 Rains has worked with all the age groups from the Under-7s right up to the Under-18s and he believes it's been a vital experience.
“It’s been an experience that I’ve really enjoyed,” he told ShrewsWeb.
“As my first full time role in football working as a coach it’s a role that’s benefitted me immensely and I’ve got nothing but gratitude towards this club for the opportunity that they gave me.
“I was very inexperienced when I came in, and I think I’ve learnt a lot at an extremely good club – every day has been a learning curve. For me this experience has been very valuable and it will be experience I’ll carry with me for the rest of my career.”
When Rains joined Town Graham Turner was in charge of the first team, before seeing Micky Mellon take over in 2014 and then seeing Paul Hurst take the reins earlier this year.
“The amount of people I’ve come into contact with has been incredible, all three of the managers have been extremely good to me and I’ve got nothing but positive things to say about all of them.
“Also people like Jacko [Mike Jackson] and Coyney [Danny Coyne], they’ve really tried to push me on and develop me – so I’m extremely grateful to both of them for giving me the opportunities.
“The academy guys too – the list is endless. I’ve learnt something from every single one of them and I’ve got nothing but gratitude to all of them, because they’ve given me time and opportunities to go and work and develop myself.”
Rains began his time at Town working with the younger age groups before eventually being appointed as caretaker Under-18s manager this season.
“When I first came in if I could have wrote down exactly how I’d want it to go over a period of time, then in reality it’s gone to plan really. I came in and worked with the young boys, all the way down to the Under-7s, and then being able to work with the Under-18s at the end has been fantastic.
“The people that have been in positions higher than me that have put me forward to take on opportunities higher up - is something that I’m grateful for.
“It’s definitely gone to plan in terms of making a progression in the game and hopefully I’ve done a good job at each of the levels.
“Each time I was moved up I always had a bit of a doubt as to whether I was ready, but I think that’s natural, and hopefully I’ve done a good job at each stage and helped the players first and foremost.”
Being a Leicester boy Rains admitted it was a tough job offer for him to turn down.
“Emotionally it’s a club that’s close to my heart, but also I was in no rush to leave Town either. This is a job that I love, but the opportunity to work at Leicester in an environment where the training ground’s set up and there’s a support staff around you was too good of an opportunity to turn down.
“I’m going into a role where I’ll be working with ages 12-16, and for me I think those are the perfect age groups for me to be working within. It’s going to be slightly different to working at Shrewsbury, but hopefully the experience I’ve gained here is really going to benefit me in that environment.”
Town’s Under-18s side have enjoyed a good season so far under Rains and will be travelling to Sunderland for a FA Youth Cup Fourth Round tie.
“I’ll be keeping a close eye on the score that night, as I will be every Saturday. I wish them all the best and hope they put in the performance I know I can deliver and follow it up with a result.
“It’s a game that they can go into and really express themselves against Premier League opposition – they should go there and try and win the game because they’re good enough to do it.
“Shrewsbury is always going to be a club that I’ll keep an eye on week to week, first team and youth team, and I wish it all the best.”