Former Chester City boss Ian Atkins has landed a plum role with Championship side Aston Villa.
The Birmingham-born 59-year-old has been appointed chief scout/head of European recruitment at Villa Park has left a similar role with Premier League side Everton to take up the post at managerless Villa and will play a key role in trying to turn around the fortunes of the Midlands club.
Atkins was director of football at Chester during the ill-fated 1999/2000 season when he was appointed by former manager/chairman Terry Smith to try and save the Blues from relegation from the Football League.
Atkins faced a near impossible task when he joined the club midway through the season but very nearly achieved the great escape when his hastily assembled band of free transfers and loans came within a whisker of preserving their status against all the odds on the final day of the season.
Atkins left the club following relegation but remained a popular figure with Blues fans. He went on to manage the likes of Carlisle United and Torquay United before moving into scouting, working with Steve Bruce at Sunderland.
Bruce is one of the front runners for the Villa job and his appointment would renew acquaintances with his former scout.