Vale’s First Team Coach, Dean Whitehead, has left Vale Park to join Turkish Super Lig side, Beşiktaş.
The 40-year-old joined Darrell Clarke’s backroom staff in July 2021 and helped Vale’s manager and Andy Crosby to guide us to promotion to Sky Bet League One.
During the close season, the unique opportunity to coach in a top European league presented itself to Dean, and he informed Vale’s Director of Football David Flitcroft that he would like to pursue an exciting new challenge.
Whitehead will be reuniting with Beşiktaş assistant manager Adam Murray at the Black Eagles. Murray himself had a spell at Vale Park in 2022, assisting Andy and Dean Whitehead during Darrell’s period of leave.
Vale’s Director of Football, David Flitcroft said:
“First and foremost, we would like to thank Dean for his commitment to Port Vale during the past 12 months – he has played an important role alongside Darrell, Andy and the coaching staff to drive the high standards that ultimately led to a successful season.
“When we recruited Dean last year, we knew he was a good fit with our values and ambitions. Success naturally breeds growth and our environment and culture of developing people – both on and off the pitch – means our people will have the opportunity to improve and grow with Port Vale or, as in this instance, by their success being noticed by clubs at the highest level.
“When an opportunity as unique and exciting as this arose for Dean, we hoped we could convince him to stay, though we will never stand in the way of somebody’s development if the opportunity to progress is as significant as this one. He has regularly stated in our communications that this has been a difficult decision given the success we have enjoyed together.
“Dean played at the highest level during his career and from the moment he came in, he brought really good practices with him. His extensive playing and coaching experience was clear.
“Dean’s openness about his opportunity has allowed us to speak to potential first team coaches in recent weeks and that process again only reaffirmed our belief that Port Vale is being seen as a really attractive club to be a part of.
“We are currently finalising the appointment of an experienced first team coach and expect to confirm this news to supporters in the coming days.”
Talking to us about his time with the Valiants, Dean said:
“I’ve had an incredible 12 months at the football club which is rapidly moving forward and I’d like to thank Carol, Kevin, Dave Flitcroft, The Gaffer and Andy Crosby for developing me.
“The culture at the football club is as good as I’ve witnessed in the game and I leave with a heavy heart.
“This opportunity is something I couldn’t turn down and I’d like to thank the club for being supportive and allowing me to do this.
“I wish Carol, The Staff and all of the players and supporters every success in League One.
“UP THE VALE!”
We would like to place on record our appreciation to Dean for his service to Port Vale.
We wish Dean well in his future career and both he and his family will always be welcome at Vale Park.