Durham City have a whole new army of fans after naming former Celtic and Aston Villa star Didier Agathe as their new manager.
The Northern League Division Two club’s website and social media accounts were swamped with more than 100,000 hits within hours of appointing the 44-year-old former winger on Wednesday.
Agathe won numerous trophies at Celtic alongside Martin O’Neill, making more than 120 appearances for the Scottish giants during a six-year stay at Parkhead.
A UEFA Cup finalist with the Hoops in 2003 against Jose Mourinho’s Porto, he went on to play for Aston Villa in the Premier League before hanging up his boots with Reunion Island club JS Saint-Pierroise and setting up an academy there.
Wow ….. we are very grateful and appreciate it ????????????
— Durham City AFC Football Academy (@dcafcacademy) April 30, 2020
Agathe, who will also run City’s new academy, told the club’s website: “It’s a great challenge and a great club. This is a really exciting project to be involved in. The club is looking to build on and off the pitch and I’m really looking forward to playing a big part in this journey.
“I’m really excited about this role. I’ve been coaching since my retirement, working with my Academy for over 10 years and I’m excited to transfer my knowledge and experience to build a fantastic academy for Durham City.
“I’m looking to build something here based on discipline, commitment and hard work. I want to build an exciting team that will win games and bring back the fans to Durham.
“There are good players here, we are in the process of adding some players to complement the current squad and I can’t wait to get working with them.”
After spending last season languishing at the wrong end of the table, the club’s chairman Gary Hutchinson is looking forward to Agathe helping them reach a new level when football returns after the coronavirus crisis.
A few of our new friends @CelticGossip @CelticFC are asking about Agathe 17 shirts to help Durham all I can say is THANKYOU to all for the interest we will be doing something as every penny helps pic.twitter.com/GY2L848vfu
— Durham City AFC (@DurhamCity_AFC) April 30, 2020
He said: “I am hoping this appointment will move the club to the next level and beyond, it’s not going to happen overnight but believe it’s a big step in the right direction.
“The club would like to thank director of football John Woolnough for his efforts in this appointment, it’s been a great effort to get this over the line and I would like to thank everyone for their patience.”
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Images courtesy of The Non-League Paper & @DurhamCity_AFC/Twitter