Groves and Coles appointed

West Ham United are delighted to announce the appointment of Paul Groves and David Coles to the club's backroom staff.

Senior coach Groves and goalkeeper coach Coles both worked under new manager Avram Grant at Portsmouth and have extensive Barclays Premier League experience. They were at Chadwell Heath on Friday along with first-team coach Kevin Keen to prepare for the start of pre-season training from Monday.

Groves, 44, enjoyed a successful 18-year playing career spanning more than 650 Football League appearances with, most notably, Blackpool and Grimsby Town.

At Grimsby, he was part of the club's greatest-ever side, reaching Division One - now the Championship - and winning the Football League Trophy in 1998.


The former midfielder became player-manager at Blundell Park in December 2001 at the age of just 35, steering the Mariners clear of relegation from Division Two during his first season in charge.

After returning to playing full-time with Scunthorpe United, York City and Stafford Rangers in 2004, Groves joined the Portsmouth coaching staff in the summer of 2006.

The Derby-born coach was appointed as Pompey's caretaker manager following the departure of Paul Hart in November 2009 before working as first-team coach under Grant and helping to lead the south coast club to the 2010 FA Cup final.

Coles, who turned 46 on 15 June, has worked with some of the finest goalkeepers in British football.

Born in Wandsworth, Coles turned out for Mansfield Town, Aldershot, Newport County and Brighton & Hove Albion before turning his attention to coaching in the 1990s.

At Southampton, he worked under former West Ham manager Harry Redknapp, helping to turn Wales international Paul Jones and Finland stopper Antti Niemi into two of the Premier League's top goalkeepers.

After following Redknapp to Portsmouth in 2005, Coles helped former Hammer David James to regain his place in the senior England squad and oversaw the development of promising youngsters Asmir Begovic and Jamie Ashdown.

Coles also wrote the book 'Goalkeeping - the specialist' in 2003, providing tips and drills for goalkeepers of all ages.