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Former Blackpool midfielder Paul Groves takes on coaching role in India

Groves captained Blackpool to play-off success at Wembley in 1992
Groves captained Blackpool to play-off success at Wembley in 1992

Former Blackpool midfielder Paul Groves has been appointed the new assistant coach of Indian Super League side Chennaiyin FC.

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Groves in action for the Seasiders in 1992

Groves in action for the Seasiders in 1992

The 52-year-old, who made 135 appearances for the Seasiders from 1990 to 1992, will become the right-hand man to former Aston Villa boss John Gregory.

Groves, who worked as a first-team coach at Birmingham City last season, replaces Mark Lillis.

He previously worked with Gregory, who guided Chennaiyin to the Indian Super League title last season, at Crawley Town during the 2014-15 season.

Groves said: “I am looking forward to working with John again and I'm excited about working in India for the first time.

"Chennaiyin FC has a great mix of foreign and Indian players and the squad is shaping up well for the coming season.

"I am looking forward to helping the club defend the ISL title and progress as far as possible in the debut AFC Cup campaign."

Gregory added: “Paul had an excellent playing career and has gone on to be a top class coach.

"He is a respected figure in the English game and I am sure we will benefit greatly from his technical and tactical knowledge.”

Groves’ lengthy playing career spanning more than 700 professional appearances began at Burton Albion in 1988.

He went on to play for Leicester City, West Bromwich Albion, Grimsby Town, Scunthorpe United, York City and Stafford Rangers as well as the Seasiders.

Following his retirement as a player in 2006, Groves joined the coaching staff at Portsmouth where he worked as first-team coach under former Chelsea manager Avram Grant.

He then enjoyed coaching stints at West Ham United, Bournemouth, Crawley Town and Bristol City before joining Birmingham City in April last year under Harry Redknapp.