Erol Bulut out: Cardiff City close in on coach appointment

Cardiff City are seeking to expand their coaching team and have their sights set on recruiting the former Watford coach.

Cardiff City look set to add ex-Watford first-team coach Omer Riza to their coaching staff, WalesOnline understands.

Erol Bulut has been keen to bolster his backroom team this summer and indeed it was one of his stipulations when he was in talks to agree a new two-year deal with the Bluebirds.

Cardiff had held talks with former City first-team coach James Rowberry over returning to the club, however last week we were told a deal could not get over the line.

But the club do appear to be closing in on adding someone to their coaching staff and that comes in the form of Omer Riza, whose most recent role was as part of the first-team staff at Vicarage Road under Valerien Ismael.

Riza had spent six years with the club, joining in August 2018 as part of their academy setup before he progressed through to take the reins as Watford under-23s head coach in 2019. He was added to Ismael’s coaching staff last summer but left when the manager was sacked back in March.


Riza juggled much of his time with Watford with his role at the English FA, where he held the position of England under-17s assistant coach from 2019 and 2023, until he was promoted to first-team duties by the Hornets. His previous role at Leyton Orient, predominantly in the youth-team setup before he stepped up to take on the role as assistant manager at the end of the 2016/17 season.

Having come through the Arsenal academy, Riza’s playing career saw him take in no fewer than 16 clubs. The 44-year-old was a striker in his playing days and it is understood Cardiff hope he will add to their attacking struggles, which have been evident in recent seasons, particularly from open play.

Part of Riza’s duties while in the England setup was being charge of “in-possession” play, which, it is hoped, will help Cardiff boost their scoring numbers outside of set pieces and help to nail down the attacking identity Bulut wants to implement.


Riza also has a Turkish connection, too, which will doubtless help in him building a strong relationship with Bulut and the coaching staff. The London-born coach had great success playing for Denizlispor and Trabzonspor and even turned out for Turkey’s under-23s during the early part of his career.

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