Stiliyan Petrov takes break from Aston Villa coaching role

 

Former Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov will take a six-month break from his role as assistant to Under-21 coach Gordon Cowans.

The 33-year-old accepted the position in May, having retired from playing after a battle against acute leukaemia.

But Petrov says he is not quite ready for a return to full-time work yet.

"I love my new role with the club. However, I have found the day-to-day demands of the job to be just a little too much too soon," Petrov said.

"I love the involvement and I want to continue to make a valid contribution. In order to do this to the best of my ability, I need to take some time away.

"Physically, I just need to build myself up some more before I can throw myself into things in the only way I know how, which is full-on commitment.

"I intend to spend some time with my family and in six months or so we'll assess how everything is then."

Villa manager Paul Lambert said: "I fully understated his position and the club is entirely supportive of his decision."

Petrov made 218 appearances for Villa in all competitions and earned 107 caps for Bulgaria in a 17-year career.

He joined Villa in 2006 from Celtic for £6.5m, having spent seven seasons in Scotland, and also played for CSKA Sofia.