Premier League club, Brighton have confirmed that their former midfielder Enock Mwepu will become their Under-9’s academy coach in the New Year.
The Zambian was forced to retire in October aged just 24 after he was diagnosed with a hereditary heart condition.
However, he will stay in football and help develop the next generation of players at Brighton.
After the news was confirmed by the club, Mwepu tweeted: ‘God’s plan and timing is always perfect. Ending the year with joy. I belong to Christ Jesus.’
In a statement on the club’s official website, Brighton manager Roberto de Zerbi said: ‘We’re really happy that Enock has decided to remain here at our club and use his experience to help develop our young players.
‘Considering his age, Enock has a wealth of experience. He has played in the Champions League and Premier League as well as captaining his country. This is the next chapter for Enock in his footballing career.’
Mwepu made 27 appearances for Brighton after arriving at the club from Red Bull Salzburg for around £18m in July 2021.
He was taken ill while on a flight to join up with his country during an international break, and, after spending time in a hospital in Mali, he was then sent back to Brighton where further tests picked up his heart condition.
In a statement, the club said the condition ‘would put Enock at an extremely high risk of suffering a potentially fatal cardiac event if he were to continue playing competitive football’.
Following Mwepu’s appointment, chief executive Paul Barber said: ‘We were very keen to help Enock with the next stage of his career, and we’re delighted he’s taken us up on the offer to join our academy coaching staff after an incredibly difficult time for him and his family following his diagnosis.
‘Whenever we recruit a new member of staff, on or off the pitch, we want them to fit with our club values and Enock absolutely encapsulates those perfectly.
‘We’re thrilled Enock will continue to be part of our club, and believe Enock has a huge amount of potential as a coach. We want to give him the opportunity to flourish in this role.’