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Page last updated at 11:11 GMT, Thursday, 18 September 2008 12:11 UK

Wilkins handed Chelsea coach role

Ray Wilkins and Gianluca Vialli
Wilkins helped Chelsea win the FA Cup and Charity Shield in 2000 with Vialli

Ray Wilkins has been appointed Chelsea's assistant first-team coach following Steve Clarke's move to West Ham United.

The 52-year-old returns to Stamford Bridge where he played for six years from 1973 and also coached with Gianluca Vialli between 1998 and 2000.

Wilkins began his career with Chelsea, making 198 appearances and being made captain at the age of 18.

The former England player will assist Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari.

The appointment marks Wilkins's return to the game after losing his coaching position with the England Under-21s last year following Peter Taylor's departure and Stuart Pearce's subsequent appointment as head coach.

"Football now is almost like a closed shop so anyone who is out of the game is finding it nearly impossible to get back in, me included," Wilkins said, adding that he was "thrilled" to back at Chelsea.

"I will probably be helping Felipe more with background work, preparing team talks... preparing those on set-pieces, how the opposition play," he said.

"The team are with freedom but have still been so solid at the back defensively, and that has been so impressive."

Blue Yahooze

Wilkins joins a backroom staff which also includes assistant first team coach Flavio Teixeira and fitness coach Darlan Schneider.

After starting his playing career as a teenager at Stamford Bridge, he moved to Manchester United in 1979 and was part of their FA Cup-winning side four years later.

He went on to win 83 England caps and also played for AC Milan, Paris St. Germain, Rangers and Queens Park Rangers.

Wilkins began a short-lived managerial career at QPR in 1994 and had one season in charge at Fulham in 1997.

Following his first spell on the Chelsea coaching staff, he worked again with Vialli at Watford in 2001 and was then Dennis Wise's assistant at Millwall when they reached the FA Cup final.

His appointment has been made with immediate effect and his first game with the squad will see Chelsea take on one of his former clubs, Manchester United.

see also
West Ham appoint Clarke as coach
15 Sep 08 |  West Ham
Chelsea 4-0 Bordeaux
16 Sep 08 |  Europe
Scolari turned down Man City job
12 Sep 08 |  Chelsea
Wilkins ends spell with Millwall
02 Oct 06 |  Millwall
Wilkins makes return to New Den
03 Mar 06 |  Millwall
Wilkins joins England U21s staff
11 Aug 05 |  England

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