Former Bristol Rovers manager Paul Trollope says he is "excited" by a new challenge after joining the staff at Championship club Luton Town.
Gas hero Trollope, who steered Rovers to promotion in 2006/07 via an epic play-off final win at Wembley, was named joint-assistant manager to new Hatters boss Rob Edwards on Thursday. The 50-year-old will work alongside Richie Kyle to support Edwards after he was named as Nathan Jones' successor at Kenilworth Road.
Trollope's playing career spanned almost two decades, making more almost 500 appearances across spells at Torquay United, Derby County and others before being named player-manager at the Mem in 2005, working alongside director of football Lennie Lawrence. The pair masterminded promotion to the third tier and the Gas consolidated their place in League One over the following seasons before Trollope left the club in 2010.
He managed Rovers in 284 games, and much of his career since has been spent as a coach, working particularly closely with Chris Hughton at Birmingham City, Norwich City, Brighton & Hove Albion and Nottingham Forest, who he left last year after Hughton was sacked. Trollope also had a spell in charge ay Cardiff City in 2015/16.
"I'm really excited with the challenge ahead," he said. "The success the club has had over a relatively short period of time has been well documented.
"I remember back in the 2007/08 period, being in the same league when I was at Bristol Rovers as manager. I've always had a real respect for the football club, it's got top-level pedigree in the past and some fantastic players have been through here.
"We're aware of the club's DNA, it's history and we're trying to write one of our own now. They have done really well over a really short period of time and there have been a lot of successful things to take place here.
"We come in with a lot of respect for that but also with a hunger and a desire and an ambition to move it forward as well. We're here to succeed and build on the good work that the staff and players have done here."
Luton are 10th in the Championship after 21 games, with the season paused for the World Cup. They were left without a manager just before the mid-season break with Jones taking charge at Premier League Southampton.
Among the players Trollope will be working with at Luton is fellow former Gas hero Tom Lockyer. The pair's stints with the Gas did not cross over with Lockyer debuting in 2012, and he made his Wales debut shortly after Trollope left the national team's coaching setup, but they are sure to have crossed paths with their mutual association with the blue and white quarters.
Former Forest Green Rovers boss Edwards, who had a brief spell in charge at Watford earlier this season, said he was delighted to have a coach of Trollope's calibre alongside him.
"We won a few Wales caps together and we've linked up again more recently," the new Hatters manager said. "He's someone I've got a lot of time and respect for, he's had a fantastic career as a player, a manager and as a coach and we're really lucky to have him and his expertise alongside us."