The former captain becomes the new club’s new development assistant.
Aston Villa have announced that retired club captain Stiliyan Petrov will still be working at the club next season, as assistant to development coach Gordan Cowans.
Petrov did not play for Villa at all this campaign as he continued his ongoing battle with acute leukaemia, after the midfielder was suddenly diagnosed with the disease in the summer of 2012.
The Bulgarian has been in remission since August last year but decided that he was too ill to continue playing football and hung up his boots on May 9.
However, as promised the club have offered Petrov a coaching role at Villa Park and with the 33-year-old well enough to start working again he will take up his position with the youth academy next season.
“I’m very excited by this new challenger and I wish to thank the Club and the manager, Paul Lambert, for giving me the opportunity to continue my association with Villa,” the former Bulgaria international told the club’s website.
“The main thing for me, however, is that it is not for sentimental reasons that I will be taking up this role but because I have something to contribute and I really want to do this.”
Petrov has received outpourings of support from all over the footballing world since being diagnosed with leukaemia and Villa started the ‘Support Stan’ campaign.
The initiative reached an emotional climax during the club’s last two league games as the crowd at both Villa Park and Wigan’s DW Stadium gave Petrov a touching reception after the match.
The Birmingham side’s academy is rated by the Barclays Premier League Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) as the No.1 in the country.