Stiliyan Petrov still aims to contribute to the Aston Villa cause in the future.
The Bulgarian was diagnosed with acute leukemia in March 2012, and was forced to announce his retirement from the game in May this year to continue his recovery. Shortly afterwards Villa announced that the 34-year-old would take on a new role at the club, working alongside Gordon Cowans as assistant of the Youth Development squad.
However, Petrov has now revealed that he has stepped down from this position, feeling he had taken on too much too soon. He has, though, also announced that he will review his situation next year, and he hopes to return to the club in some capacity.
“Physically, I just need to build myself up some more before I can throw myself into things in the only way I know how, with full-on commitment,” he told ESPN. “I intend to spend some time with my family and in six months or so we’ll assess how everything is then. The entire Villa family has been supportive and I am so grateful for this.
“I love my new role with the club, I love the involvement and I want to continue to make a valid contribution. I have found the day-to-day demands of the job to be a little much too soon. I have spoken to the manager and chief executive and they have been great in helping me reach a decision whilst also reassuring me the club will always be there for me.”
Petrov, who was appointed Villa captain in 2009, joined was a Martin O’Neill signing from Celtic in the summer of 2006 for a fee of £6.5million. He went on to make 218 appearances for the Midlands club, and also has 95 international caps to his name.
Manager Paul Lambert is currently preparing his side for a daunting trip to Chelsea on Wednesday night, just four days after their memorable 3-1 win at Arsenal. However, the Scot took time out of his schedule to comment on Petrov’s decision: “I fully understand his position and the club are fully supportive of his decision.”