Shrewsbury Town are pleased to announce that Joe Parkinson has been appointed as the club's new First-Team Development Coach.
Shrewsbury Town can confirm that Joe Parkinson has joined Sam Rickett's backroom staff where he will take on the role as First-Team Development Coach.
As well as coaching the first-team Joe has been brought in to help offer a bridge between the academy and the first-team where he will look to develop up and coming talent as they make the transition to the world of men's football.
Joe is well known for his time at Wigan Athletic where he made 119 appearances for the Latics between 1989 and 1993. After an early retirement through injury Joe later returned to Wigan where he worked as a Youth Team Coach before progressing to First Team Coach under Manager Gary Caldwell.
Joe spoke to Shrewsweb on Friday afternoon after his first full day with the team.
"I've been really impressed with what I've seen so far," said Joe. "I came earlier in the week to meet the Manager. It was the first time I've seen the training ground. I've also been lucky enough to be in this stadium with other teams and it just seems a great set up.
"Everyone has made me feel really welcome on my first day and long may it continue."
Joe was encouraged by the team he watched train this morning and thinks there's a good balance between youth and experience.
"You need that in a team. You always want the young ones to come through but you need the older ones to mentor them and that's what the senior lads do.
"I've not seen too much this afternoon as we've been preparing for a game but they look like a good set of lads and they seem to get on well so here's to a good season.
"The hardest part is getting to know all the new faces, their positions and just getting into a routine of knowing how everybody works.
"I haven't worked with the manager before but I have with Graham so it's just getting into the routine and understanding what everyone wants to make sure we're all moving in the right direction."
Joe explained how important he feels it is to have a bridge between the academy and the first-team.
"It's so important. We all want the young and local lads to come through. It's no different here. We've got that link now of me training with the first-team and looking after the younger lads, trying to develop them and maybe push them out on loan if it's needed and just giving them the best possible opportunity.
"You can always try and impress to make the manager take a look at you which can be quite a comfortable way to do it but as a young lad if you go out into the real world of football and play real football where it means something it's a great learning tool for them and they can only gain experience which can stand them in good stead."
Joe briefly spoke about his time at Wigan and how that developed him as a player and a coach.
"Wigan was my local Town, I was with them since I was 14 and made me debut there. I then went back and worked with the U18s right through to the first-team coach.
"I worked really closely with Graham at Wigan. I actually used to play against Graham as well when he used to threaten me," Joe joked. "He's been a great mentor to me, he's got so much experience and so much you can learn off of him. He's got a great manner about him around the pros. It looks a great balance of people working behind the scenes."
Already setting targets Joe said his first aim is a simple one.
"I want us to be successful which is a given anyway. I want to give every opportunity to the young ones. I want to try and get them into the first-team but ultimately I want the first-team to be as successful as they can."