Former Bristol City and Ipswich Town player returns to Ashton Gate in new coaching capacity

Robins have appointed their former goalkeeper to the backroom staff to help nurture their shot-stoppers of the future.

Bristol City have appointed their former goalkeeper of 2009-13 to the U21s coaching staff.

BristolWorld understands that Dean Gerken has joined up as the academy’s new head of goalkeeping for City’s players between 18 and 23 years old.

The former Ipswich Town, Darlington and Colchester United goalkeeper was on the bench as Bristol City U21s drew 0-0 with Birmingham City U21s on Tuesday afternoon.

Gerken made 60 appearances for City in all competitions as a player but will now help the next tier of Robins goalkeepers, after the 37-year-old departed the Colchester Community Stadium in the summer following the end of his playing contract there.

“I think he’d be a great coach,” U’s boss Wayne Brown told the Colchester Gazette last May, commenting as Gerken finished off his second spell at Colchester.

“Everyone is looking for their next chapter when you come away from playing the game.

Former Bristol City goalkeeper Dean Gerken has returned to Ashton Gate.

“It’s always a really big test as an individual, because it’s all you’ve ever known and now you’ve got to try and find your way into a different pathway.

“A lot of people go down the coaching route and Dean has so much to give, so I hope he does go down a route where he is involved in the game because he has got a lot to give,” added Brown.

Now Gerken has that chance, as he joins up to work alongside former City left-back Micky Bell and former midfielder Matt Hewlett under academy director Brian Tinnion.

Meanwhile, the Young Robins maintained their unbeaten start to the campaign this week when they drew with former Category One side Birmingham, with Steve Spooner‘s side demoted to the Professional Development League 2 competition this season due to failing a national audit on academy standards.

Gerken will have liked what he saw as the Midlanders were kept at bay, with Harvey Wiles-Richards in goal for the hosts and saving an Adam George penalty in the highlight of the contest.

Central defender Joe Low stood out for Bristol City too, as veteran defender Sol Bamba – currently training with Nigel Pearson and co – was given a run-out for the City second string as well, in a bid to earn a contract at Ashton Gate.

The former Cardiff City centre back played in the middle of a back three for 65 minutes.

Dylan Kadji also received game time after the 18-year-old’s goal-scoring debut against Wycombe in the League Cup the week before.

Bristol City may yet have decisions to make in the next 36 hours as the summer transfer window draws to a close.