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Crystal Palace post is a dream job for me, reveals assistant manager Keith Millen

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IT WAS an easy decision for Keith Millen when Ian Holloway asked if he'd like to be his assistant last month upon his managerial appointment at Selhurst Park.

Not only was it a chance to continue their good work together at Blackpool, but it was an opportunity for the 46-year-old to come home.

Having grown up in the Croydon area, Millen spoke to Advertiser Sport about life as a youngster under a father with close connections to Palace and revealed he nearly signed for the club on two separate occasions.

"I grew up in Selsdon then moved to Sanderstead, and my parents still live in Wallington," he said.

"My two sisters live in Coulsdon and I've still got property in Sanderstead, so I was born and have been brought up in the Croydon area.

"My dad played for Palace and scouted for the club so he's got a lot of connections still, and I nearly signed twice as an apprentice.

"I remember I went to sign one time when Alan Smith was manager but it fell through at the last minute, but Palace were always the team I supported and always kept an eye on.

"And it was always nice going to Palace when I was at other clubs – and to now be assistant manager is a dream job for me."

Millen was introduced to football at a young age and recalls his time playing for the local clubs and schools in the area, with two players in particular making the grade at Palace over the years.

"I went to Selsdon Primary School, Shirley High School and then on to the old John Ruskin," he said.

"I played for Selsdon Juniors growing up and my dad was one of the managers and founding members of the club.

"The likes of Gareth Southgate and our goalkeeper coach George Wood played for them, and there's a lot of players who have come through that club and it's still going strong now."

And it seems Millen has all the tools geared towards a managerial position again in the future, having had a brief spell at Bristol City last year.

But, for now, he says he couldn't leave the Eagles for another club and believes he's the right man to help Ian Holloway.

"I've done every position now," he said. "I've been a first-team coach, an assistant manager and manager so I know I can help Ian in a lot of things and know what he's going through.

"I would look at becoming a manager again. That was one of the questions I was asked by Ian at Blackpool, if I was actively looking to get into management again.

"Certainly my experience at Bristol City hasn't put me off at all, and every other manager loses his job sooner or later.

"It's made me better and stronger, so eventually if an opportunity came up then I would look at it, but I certainly wouldn't leave Crystal Palace to go and do something else.

"Whether I'm assistant manager, first-team coach or manager, it's where I want to be, so I haven't been put off by management as I think I'm a better all-round coach.

"Palace have always been my number one club. I've gone off and played and managed other clubs, but Palace is certainly one I've always looked out for."

Crystal Palace post is a dream job for me, reveals assistant manager Keith Millen


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