Frankie McAvoy could not turn down Norwich City chance

Hamilton player/manager Alex Neil (right) and his assistant Frankie McAvoy. Picture: SNS Group

Hamilton player/manager Alex Neil (right) and his assistant Frankie McAvoy. Picture: SNS Group - Credit: SNS Group

Frankie McAvoy admits the opportunity to become assistant manager of Norwich City was one he 'couldn't turn down'.

McAvoy remained with Hamilton Academical to ease the transition after Alex Neil headed south to become the Canaries' new manager.

He becomes Neil's assistant once again on Sunday though, hoping to repeat the winning formula which took the Accies to promotion via the Scottish First Division play-offs last season.

'I didn't know Norwich had been in touch about Alex, he even told me he was sick when he went to talk to them,' McAvoy said.

'But once a deal was done he asked if I would go with him and it was an opportunity and a chance I couldn't turn down.'

Neil and McAvoy, both from Bellshill, had worked together at New Douglas Park for 10 years. Neil stepped up as player-manager in April 2013 and asked McAvoy to assist him in addition to his job as academy director.

City's new 33-year-old manager has been assisted by first-team coach Gary Holt since arriving at Carrow Road but lost the experience of Mike Phelan last week, when the former Manchester United assistant stepped down from his role as coach.

Most Read

McAvoy will bolster Neil's backroom team following Saturday's match at Birmingham City but he said his decision to head for Norfolk was not an easy one.

'I'm a family man, I stay in Bellshill with my wife and four kids, the youngest of whom has just started high school so I had to think about them,' McAvoy continued, speaking to the Motherwell Times.

'However, I asked Alex what the plan would be as he has two young kids and stays in Coatbridge and we decided just to go down ourselves and see how things progress. If they go well then we'll look at bringing the families down in the summer.

'I don't think I've been away from my family for more than a few days so that along with how long I'd been at Accies was a big wrench.

'However, in footballing terms I'm going to another world so I'm really looking forward to it, it's something I have to try and fingers crossed it works out, but time will tell.'

McAvoy's time with Hamilton came to an emotional end on Saturday when fans were charged just 10p to attend Hamilton's home game against Inverness, which the Accies lost 2-0. That was in honour of Neil's and McAvoy's 10 years at the club, attracting a crowd of 5,089.

'Saturday was a bit emotional; it was my last game after being here for 10 years, the last three in the first-team environment,' McAvoy added.

'Hamilton has been really good to me and having so many people come out to say thanks very much left me humbled and I will miss the place.'