Former Imps captain Gary Mills is the new Burton Albion first-team coach. The move comes after leaving Coventry City, where he has been the Lead Professional Development Phase Coach. Mills replaces Chris Beardsley, who has been appointed talent coach by FIFA for the Caribbean.
This has drawn interest from the club’s supporters and many punters who gather the best tips for sports betting to predict League One matches. The changing of the guard is a significant one for Burton Albion as it signals a new era for a club aiming to improve its performance in League One football.
Mills’ Journey from Player to Coach
Mills started his career at Coventry City’s academy, gaining skills and a deep understanding of the game that saw him graduate to the professional ranks. The newly appointed manager has played for various teams, including Rushden & Diamonds, Crawley Town, Stevenage Borough, Mansfield Town, and, of course, Lincoln City.
Mills’ playing career wasn’t just about personal success; it was a learning curve that would lay the foundation for his transition into coaching. He says his experience at various clubs exposed him to different playing styles, coaching methodologies, and managerial philosophies, all of which have contributed to his holistic understanding of the beautiful game. Before joining Burton Albion, the 42-year-old has taken coaching roles in other clubs, including Wrexham, Northampton Town, King’s Lynn, MK Dons, and recently, Sky Blues.
However, he always had his sights set on senior football, and he made that aspiration clear upon joining Burton Albion. In a statement, Mills said, “My journey so far has mainly seen me work in player development, with the idea of always getting into senior football – now my time has come, and I’ve loved every second so far.”
This move is not just a professional transition for Mills; it is a homecoming of sorts. Mills has a personal relationship with key figures at Burton Albion, including Manager Dino Maamria and John Dreyer (they played with Dino Maamria at Stevenage.) This has enabled an easy transition and, more so, because his former club didn’t give him a hard time during the transition. He noted that the players were also receptive and eager to learn.
Gary Mills Replacing Chris Beardsley
Gary Mills joins Burton Albion to take over from Chris Beardsley. Beardsley left Burton after securing a lucrative deal by FIFA to be their talent coach in the Caribbean. He joined the club in 2016 under the management of Nigel Clough, during the same summer that the club got promotion to the Championship. Over the years, Beardsley became an integral part of the coaching staff, evolving from a fitness coach to the First Team Coach. During Beardsley’s tenure, Burton Albion has had several historic moments, including a memorable run to the League Cup semi-finals and securing their status in the Championship.
Mills said he also knows his predecessor personally, as they have played together. He had spoken to him about his new position — and he greatly assisted.
What’s Next For Burton Albion?
As Gary Mills joins Burton Albion as First Team Coach, there are high hopes from the team, management, and fans that The Brewers will improve their performance. Burton Albion finished 15th in the 2022/2023 English Football League, securing 56 points from 46 games. They won 15 games, drew 11, and lost 20.
There are high hopes that Mills will use his vast experience as a player and coach to better the club, who have started off with a struggle this season.
Mills says he brings a fresh perspective, and his keen eye for talent will undoubtedly bring a new dimension to Burton Albion’s approach to the game and hopefully put them in a better position in the league.
Manager Dino Maamria is excited about Mills’ appointment, citing his hunger for success and his potential to be an excellent fit for the club. He noted that the mutual belief in the potential for success sets the stage for an exciting chapter in Burton Albion’s footballing journey.
Gary Mills is an experienced player and coach, and his appointment as the Brewers’ first-team coach could be the change they needed. Although his predecessor had his fair share of success, fans are hopeful Mills can do better.