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Craig Shakespeare joins Aston Villa as assistant head coach

By Matt Maher | Aston Villa | Published:

Villa boss Dean Smith has bolstered his backroom team by appointing Craig Shakespeare assistant head coach.

Craig Shakespeare

Smith has moved to bring in the former Leicester boss, who was No.2 to Claudio Ranieri when the Foxes won the Premier League in 2016, with the aim of adding Premier League experience to his coaching staff.

The pair are long-time friends having played together at Walsall in the 1980s and Smith is thought to have considered adding Shakespeare to his staff early last season.

Those plans were shelved when Shakespeare subsequently teamed up with Nigel Pearson at Watford but the duo were sacked last month by the Hornets, who were then relegated from the Premier League as Villa survived on the final day.

Shakespeare, who began his coaching career at Albion and briefly took caretaker charge of the Baggies in 2006, joins John Terry and Richard O’Kelly as assistant head coach to Smith. There are no suggestions either Terry or O’Kelly are to leave the club.

Smith said: “I was keen to add some additional Premier League know-how onto my coaching team and Craig certainly has that in abundance.

“He’s a vastly experienced coach who will add another dimension to our team. I've known Craig for many years since our Walsall playing days and I’m really looking forward to working with him.”

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher

Chief sports writer for the Express & Star.

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