Coaching role for Wellens at Latics
Reporter: Matthew Chambers
Date published: 03 July 2017
RICHIE WELLENS . . . ended 18-year playing career
RICHIE Wellens has been lined up to step into Athletic's backroom staff as first-team coach.
The 37-year-old former midfielder, who played under John Sheridan the last time the club made it into the play-offs, recently completed his UEFA 'A' Licence qualification and is now primed to make his first move into coaching after calling an end to an 18-year playing career.
Wellens, who also starred at Blackpool and Leicester after starting out at Manchester United, is set to work alongside Sheridan and an as-yet un-named assistant boss for the 2017-18 season.
The swoop follows the addition - at this stage, to encompass the pre-season programme - of fitness coach John Harbin to the staff.
Back in training today after two days in towards the end of last week, Athletic's players will be in action for the first time this summer when they travel to play Stalybridge Celtic at Bower Fold on Saturday, July 8 (3pm kick-off).
Meanwhile, Tope Obadeyi has said there was never really any doubt over his signing a fresh deal to stay at the club.
The 27-year-old forward, who scored twice last season after signing on in January, was confirmed late last week as having penned a one-year extension.
"I'm happy to be back," Obadeyi said. "I was offered a deal towards the end of the season by the manager and it was sorted out. It just took a while because I was away on holiday but now I'm happy to put pen to paper.
"I know everyone here now and the way we finished the season was a massive positive for me. It's a positive that the gaffer is here as well so it was an easy decision to make.
"John is a man of few words but he knows me and I know him. He wants me here and wants me to stay so I'm happy."