Former T&T defender Dennis Lawrence has secured a new contract that will see him stay with the Wigan Athletic Premiership club’s coaching staff for the 2012/2013 English Premiership season. Lawrence accepted the offer recently in time for the club’s preseason which will see him remain as an assistant to Roberto Martinez. Mike Berry, Lawrence’s UK-based handler, revealed that the former Swansea City man will also complete his UEFA ‘A’ License later this month. “Dennis has now signed a new and improved contract taking him into a third year of coaching at the highest level in England,” Berry said. “He completes his UEFA A Licence this month and as a fully qualified coach will continue to work alongside Roberto Martinez who is one of the most progressive and exciting coaches in the game. Roberto has told me that he rates Dennis very highly and includes him in all aspects of coaching and tactics at Wigan FC and sees him as an integral part of the Technical staff,” Berry added.
Lawrence himself was quietly pleased to have secured an extension to his stay. He is now the only Trinidadian and possibly from the Caribbean to head into a third season as a full member of a Premiership club’s first team coaching staff. “The Second season was very exciting and it gave me the chance to grow more into the coaching side of football and to be able to see Wigan develop under the guidance of Roberto as he is very detailed and confident in what the goals and aspirations are for the club,” Lawrence shared. Working under Martinez, who was used by ESPN as an expert analyst during the recent 2012 Euro Finals, has been a major factor behind Lawrence’s success as a coach. “It’s been a really fantastic experience for me to be working under a really good manager who encourages me and allows me to express myself in my role at the club,” the former Wrexham and Defence Force standout added. “I’ve been allowed to carry out by duties on a day to day basis and grow with the entire experience. Working in one of, if not the best League in the world with top footballers is something money cannot buy and I’m grateful for this opportunity and everything that led to it from my time as a player representing T&T, playing in a World Cup and my various experiences at the clubs I’ve spent time with,” he said.
Martinez meantime became one of the more talked about managers in the Premiership at the end of last season. And he credits his backroom staff and everyone else involved with the club’s effort. He agreed to a new fourth term in charge of Wigan after being linked to Aston Villa, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. “Obviously it was an interesting summer, predominantly because we were so successful in the second half of the campaign – and that is credit to everyone at the football club, not just me,” Martinez said. “After that, it was a time for contemplation, and a very important period for everyone, because it’s been three years since I arrived. That was always going to be a time where we’d look back and assess the improvement and achievements we have made both on and off the pitch. “The chairman is still full of energy, and is desperate to kick on and continue taking this football club forward. We are all excited about the new project, how we are progressing as a football club on many levels, and getting ready for what will be a challenging and fascinating season ahead. “I feel we are there in terms of matters on the field. And in other departments of the football club we are slowly progressing towards where we want to be – and where we have to be,” Martinez stated. Lawrence and the Wigan squad are in Sweden for a preseason camp ahead of their Premiership opener against Chelsea in just about six weeks time.