Stoke City announced on Tuesday that they’ve made an addition to the club’s academy. This announcement comes from The Potters naming former striker, 42 year old Ricardo Fuller to Stoke’s academy as a part of the Professional Player to Coach scheme.
Fuller, whose professional playing career spanned from 2001 to 2021, spent the biggest chunk of those years at Stoke City. Fuller played with Stoke City from 2006 to 2012. In that time, Fuller made over 200 appearances with the club, along with scoring 50 club goals as well.
Per the team’s website, Ricardo Fuller in his role at Clayton Wood will be a part of the club’s coaching staff from the U9’s level to the U21’s level. Fuller will take part in team and individual coaching sessions in his role, as well as taking part in other elements of day-to-day coaching activities at the academy.
The Professional Player to Coach Scheme comes as the Professional Players’ Association, the Premier League, and the EFL look to increase the ethnicity and diversity among coaches in English Football.
Fuller’s Addition Adds an ‘IT’ Factor to Stoke’s Academy
Adding Ricardo Fuller to Stoke City’s academy could be a significant move for Stoke City in both the short and long-term. In the short-term, Fuller’s ‘IT’ factor, which is his Premier League and overall experience could prove to be an under-the-radar factor that improves Stoke City’s academy.
Having someone like Fuller in your facility every day, coaching and being around players from each age level, can only rub off that experience and moxy to Stoke’s future first team players. That same gained knowledge can have positive effects on The Potters for years to come with Fuller’s arrival at Clayton Wood. Especially given Stoke’s preferred destination of once again gaining Premier League promotion.
In the meantime, Fuller will be gaining valuable coaching experience. This may enable him to come full circle one day and use this gained knowledge to hold an even higher role with the club. Which in today’s game is a big possibility given the number of ex-players who have returned to the game to hold manager roles at the lower levels of academy’s, and even first team levels.
Whether you choose to look more nearsighted or down the road with a long view of the move, Ricardo Fuller coming back to Stoke City in an official role can only mean positives for The Potters.