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Richard Chaplow on his coaching ambitions and returning to Southampton one day

Former Southampton midfielder Richard Chaplow is enjoying life in California, but would love a return to Southampton

Southampton Saints St Mary’s Richard Chaplow interview coach Orange County SC Burnley Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

Richard Chaplow is a former Southampton midfielder fondly remembered by Saints fans for his contributions in helping the club return to the Premier League via back-to-back promotions.

As it turns out, the Lancashire lad, who had two spells at Southampton, very much reciprocates his appreciation for the Saints and its fans.

Chaplow is currently living in California, where is serving as an assistant coach at Orange County SC after playing for the club over two years.

Speaking on the superb Oh When The Saints Podcast, Chaplow explained his move to coaching and how he would love to return to Southampton in a coaching capacity some day.


READ: Richard Chaplow on “masterful” Mauricio Pochettino

LISTEN: Head here to listen to Oh When The Saints podcast’s full interview with Richard Chaplow


Richard Chaplow Southampton Saints interview coaching Orange County SC Burnley Photo by Chris Ison/PA Images via Getty Images

Though he is still very much enjoying his time in the California sunshine, Chaplow wishes to complete the sports science degree he put on hold to move him and his family Stateside.

“I still plan to finish my degree and if anything changes hopefully there is still a home for me at Southampton.

“It’s the one place that I would happily move away from the North West for. I still have friends down there, Danny Butterfield lives down there, Kelvin Davis still lives down there, Dan Harding lives down that way, plenty of people.”

Coaching wasn’t something on Chaplow’s radar for a long time during his playing career.

It was his time at Southampton which opened the former Burnley and West Brom player’s eyes to what kind of impact top-quality coaching and facilities could do to benefit the careers of those who are still playing the game.

However, the stark realities of former players who either had their careers cut short or didn’t have an effective exit plan also encouraged Chaplow to think about his life in football beyond the pitch.

“It’s not something that was always on my radar. Being younger, I always thought I’d never coach. I was always a bit of a joker and a prankster. I took what I did very seriously, but I was always up for a laugh and a joke.

“I just didn’t really think my personality could be somebody that would be taken as a coach. I didn’t think it suited me as a person. I started maturing a player with my views and my behaviours once I got to 26-27 when I was just coming into my latter years at Southampton.”


READ: Richard Chaplow on the end of Nigel Adkins’ run as Southampton boss

QUIZ: Can you name all Saints players to play league football since 2012?

LISTEN: Head here to listen to Oh When The Saints podcast’s full interview with Richard Chaplow


Southampton v Manchester United Richard Chaplow FA Cup Burnley Orange County SC Saints interview news Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

However, the stark realities of former players who either had their careers cut short or didn’t have an effective exit plan also encouraged Chaplow to think about his life in football beyond the pitch.

“I would look around and there are so many people I made my debuts with who are now and are really, really struggling to make ends meet. In financial difficulty, emotional difficulty, not in a good place and that’s a worrying thing to see.

“I tried to make a mature decision and Southampton’s - as everyone knows - the sports science, the strength and conditioning, the health and wellness side was second to none. I really bought into that when I came into Southampton and felt it really brought a lot of value to me as a player and it added percentages I felt I didn’t have earlier in my career and brought them to my game.”

From there, Chaplow registered for his sports science degree at Manchester Metropolitan University through the PFA to gain the knowledge required to work on top-level coaching teams in English football.

Being an assistant coach in the USA was an unexpected reward for Chaplow’s playing career. Though, he does feel he could make a mark as sports science staff due to his experiences as a player, married with his qualifications.

“I think it’s hard, when you have never played the game, to understand a footballer’s mentality - they’re very unique and individulaised. As people, we’re wired a little bit differently. I think our experiences make us who we are and I felt that if I could bring all those things together, I can provide a helpful toolkit off the field.”


You can listen to the Oh When The Saints podcast’s interview with Richard Chaplow on your preferred podcast app here.

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