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MacDonald to leave Villa

Aston Villa have confirmed first-team coach Kevin MacDonald is to leave the club.

MacDonald has brought to an end a 17-year association with the club following the appointment of Paul Lambert as manager.

The 51-year-old, who had a brief stint in caretaker charge at the start of the 2010/11 season following the departure of Martin O'Neill, worked alongside Alex McLeish last season, while he also coached the reserve team.

MacDonald told the club's official website: "I've had an incredible 17 years at Aston Villa, one of the biggest clubs in the country, and wish to thank all the staff and players I have worked with during my time at the club.

"I wish Aston Villa every success in the future."

"As a club, we are immensely grateful for the contribution Kevin has made in more than 17 years at Villa."He has been an integral part of the success we have enjoyed at academy and reserve team level and, in assuming his caretaker responsibilities at the beginning of the 2010-11 season, he cemented his position as a man who will always command respect at this club."The whole of Aston Villa Football Club will wish Kevin well."

– Chief executive Paul Faulkner

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Hughton approached by Norwich City

Chris Hughton approached by Norwich City Credit: PA Pictures

Birmingham manager Chris Hughton has been given permission to speak to Norwich.

Norwich City are in the market for a new boss after Paul Lambert completed a switch to Aston Villa on Saturday.

A statement released by Birmingham this morning read:"Birmingham City FC can confirm that Norwich City FC have made an approach for Chris Hughton with regards to their vacant managerial position.

"Hughton expressed a wish to speak to the Canaries and permission was reluctantly granted."

Acting chairman Peter Pannu said: "Chris is a great manager and deserves the opportunity to speak to Norwich, which is why we have granted him permission to speak to them."

Midlands hockey players drafted into Olympic squad

Kerry Williams from Leicester will now play for England Credit: ITV Central

Hockey players from the Midlands have been drafted in to play for England in the Investec London Cup this week.

Susie Gilbert of the University of Birmingham will join Rebecca Herbert and Kerry Williams from Leicester as replacements in the 18 person squad.

Great Britain will begin their campaign tomorrow afternoon when they play South Africa.

Olympic squad members Alex Danson, Sarah Tomas and Crista Cullen will miss the Cup because of injury.

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Faulkner voted on to FA Council

Villa's Faulkner elected on to FA Council Credit: PA Pictures

Aston Villa chief executive Paul Faulkner has been elected on to the FA Council.

Faulkner played a leading role in Villa securing the services of Paul Lambert from Norwich as their new manager in succession to Alex McLeish.

As a member of the FA Council he will meet to discuss and determine the major policies of the FA.

"I'm pleased and proud as Villa chief executive that our efforts as a club over a number of seasons have been recognised and rewarded in this way."

PAUL FAULKNER, ASTON VILLA CHAIRMAN

New three-year contract for Tigers' Richard Cockerill

Tigers announce new three-year contract for Richard Cockerill Credit: ITV Central

Leicester Tigers' director of rugby Richard Cockerill has agreed a new three-year contract with the club.

The former Tigers and England hooker became head coach during the 2008-09 season and was named rugby director almost two years ago.

He has led the club to four Premiership finals, winning titles in 2009 and 2010, in addition to reaching the 2009 Heineken Cup final and landing this season's LV= Cup.

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