English side Aston Villa have appointed former Brentford boss Dean Smith as head coach to replace Steve Bruce with former England and Chelsea captain John Terry named his assistant.
Bruce was sacked earlier in the month after a dismal run of results that left the Birmingham based side trailing Championship table toppers Sheffield United by 10 points. The former Crystal Palace, Wigan Athletic tactician had been with the club since 2016 and led them to the Premier League play-off finals in last season’s campaign where they lost 1-0 to Fulham in the final.
Terry who announced his retirement from playing earlier in the week joined Villa in 2017 after spending 19 years at Chelsea and follows in the footsteps of former England teammates Frank Lampard and Stephen Gerrard, who took up coaching roles almost immediately after retirement.
The two are not the only appointments as Spaniard Jesus Garcia Pitarch comes in as the new sporting director. Pitarch has previously held posts of director of football at Valencia and Atletico Madrid.
Villa's CEO Christian Purslow is quoted on the club’s official website as saying, "These three appointments represent the start of a new era and direction at Aston Villa and we are delighted to secure their services after an extensive search. Dean has a clear and successful coaching philosophy as well as a real understanding of Aston Villa. He is also knowledgeable about the Championship."
“The board welcomes him to the club and is looking forward to working with him and his staff. John is one of the most decorated players in English football, has an affinity with the club and is ready to make the next step in his career working alongside Dean. And Jesus also brings a huge amount of experience in his particular role having worked with some of the biggest clubs in Europe. He will ensure the club has an integrated approach running from the academy through the U23s and into the first-team.”
Smith's first game in charge will be against Swansea at Villa Park on 20 October, with the club still only four points outside the play-offs in a congested Championship table.