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Saints Confirm Coaching Structure Changes
Monday, 1st Jul 2019 10:25

Some of them have been doing the rounds for a few weeks but now they have been confirmed as Saints follow up the boardroom changes, with new appointments in the coaching staff.

Ralph Hasenhuttl seems to have a lot more influence than previous managers at St Mary's in recent years, although the structure is still very much in place and indeed is one that Hasenhuttl has been used to working within at his other clubs, he seems to have a bigger hand in this latest refinement than his predecessors.

That could be seen as a good thing and a sign of his commitment to Southampton FC .

The big change to the first team is that David Watson will step up from Goalkeeping coach and will have a more general role of First Team Assistant Coach with the goalkeeping duties now being filled by Andrew Sparkes as was touted last week on the rumour mill.

Although Kelvin Davis remains as an assistant first team coach his role seems to have been refocused to concentrate on the up and coming Academy players, something that could be said is a backward step for Davis, however it should be noted that Kelvin was jumped up very fast to first team duties when he had absolutely no experience in the job this appointment perhaps reflects this and he is now in a position more suited to someone at his stage of development as a coach and he can now start to learn his trade.

The full statement from the club confirming the changes reads:


Following last week’s announcement on the updates to the board structure at the club, Saints can today confirm a number of changes that have taken place within the football staff at Staplewood Campus, designed to provide First Team Manager Ralph Hasenhüttl and Director of Football Operations Ross Wilson with the right support going into the new season.

Hasenhüttl will continue to be supported by a first team staff of Danny Röhl as First Team Assistant Manager and Craig Fleming, whose interim role as First Team Assistant Coach has been made permanent, having previously stepped up from the academy upon Hasenhüttl’s arrival in December. Kelvin Davis will continue his work in the first team group in the role of First Team Assistant Coach, but importantly will also become the link to the senior academy players and ensure those players are prepared and ready for the first team.

Dave Watson has been asked by Hasenhüttl to enhance his role and will now become First Team Assistant Coach. Watson’s new role means the club has appointed Andrew Sparkes as our new First Team Goalkeeping Coach.


Alek Gross will continue working with Hasenhüttl’s team as Head of Sports Science, and will now be supported by Bill Styles who will take on additional on-pitch duties with the first team.

Matthew Banks has also joined the first team support staff as Strength and Conditioning Coach, as part of wider changes to the club’s Science and Medical teams overseen by High Performance Manager Mark Jarvis. As part of these changes, Dr Inigo Sarriegui joins the first team Doctor’s group, replacing Dr Tham Wedatilake.

Beyond the first team, our academy structure continues to be a major focus at Staplewood Campus. Matt Hale has been promoted to Academy Director and will oversee the development of all age groups from Under-8s to Under-23s. Ed Vahid has been promoted to take the Academy Manager role previously held by Hale. The club is also in the process of recruiting a Head of Academy Player Development who will report into Hale.

Martyn Glover joined the club in May from Everton as Chief Scout and will work with the scouting staff on developing the club’s strong scouting and recruiting teams whilst expanding their operations.

Chris Welman has been promoted to the role of Head of Academy Recruitment, replacing Terry Burton who will remain a part of the Academy scouting team.

All of these changes take place with immediate effect, ahead of the first team reporting back for pre-season testing and training on Monday 1st July.

Photo: Action Images



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ChristchurchSaint added 12:09 - Jul 1
Presumably Radhi Jaidi stays in his role as U23 manager, no mention otherwise. Think the most important part of this could be Kelvin acting as liaison between U23s and first team. Obviously don’t know him, but always strikes me as genuine and honest, and will not pressurise youngsters, but will encourage their progress.
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SaintBrock added 14:14 - Jul 1
Same old, same old what was all the fuss about. Watson seems to be the main loser so will be surprised if he hangs around for long. No sign of much new blood. Didn't Davis always have the young player liaison role?
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