Richie Barker was appointed as the Assistant Head Coach of Derby County on 22nd September 2022
He, like Head Coach Paul Warne, linked up with the Rams after leaving Championship side Rotherham United.
Barker was part of the journey with Warne at the Millers from 2017 onwards and brought with him bags of experience as a player, a first team manager and, more recently, the number two to Warne.
Born in Sheffield on 30th May 1975, Barker, like the new Head Coach, was a professional footballer before moving into the coaching side of the game.
A striker by trade, his career started with his local side Sheffield Wednesday in 1993 and despite staying there for four years as a professional, he only ever appeared for the first team in the Intertoto Cup.
In 1995 he made the short move across Yorkshire to Doncaster Rovers in a loan spell to gain first team experience, while a similar stint followed at Northern Irish side Ards in 1996.
A permanent switch Linfield, also in Northern Ireland, was next up in 1997, but it wasn’t until he moved on loan to Brighton & Hove Albion in the 1997/98 campaign that his career really kick-started.
A successful temporary spell with the Seagulls saw him land a permanent deal but after only a year on the south coast, he moved back more locally with Macclesfield Town.
Two seasons with the Silkmen, scoring 26 goals, saw him earn a move to Rotherham United in 2001 for a fee of around £60,000. Barker made more appearances for the Millers (164) than any other club and enjoyed a successful spell in South Yorkshire – helping them win promotion to the Championship during that time, as well as remaining in the second tier. It was during this time he played alongside Warne.
The years of 2004-2007 were spent at Mansfield Town, where he became a firm fans’ favourite with the Stags faithful, bagging 48 goals in 106 appearances for the Yellows.
Barker left Mansfield to join Hartlepool United in 2007, where he scored 27 times and helped them to promotion from League Two in 2006/07 as runners-up, before returning to Rotherham for the 2008/09 season. He returned to the Millers initially on loan, before signing permanently later in the campaign.
He retired from playing in the summer of 2009 with 534 appearances to his name, scoring a healthy return of 147 goals.
Barker wasted no time getting into the coaching side of the game upon his retirement with youth coaching roles at Sheffield United and Scunthorpe United, before joining Bury as Academy Manager in 2010.
Less than two years after taking up that role, he was promoted to manager of the first team and he helped the Shakers to secure automatic promotion to League One in 2011.
Crawley Town snapped up his services in 2012 and then after just over year in the role he moved on to Portsmouth, where he stayed until late in the 2013/14 campaign.
Since 2014, Barker worked as an assistant at MK Dons and Charlton Athletic, both under Karl Robinson and then most recently as assistant at Rotherham under Warne where he remained from 2017 until linking up with the Rams. He was alongside Warne for each of the Millers’ three promotions to the Championship in recent years, as well as their Papa Johns Trophy success in the 2021/22 season.
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