As expected, Aston Villa today confirmed the appointment of a second Assistant Head Coach for new Villa Head Coach Dean Smith. Smith will now be joined by his long-term right-hand man Richard O’Kelly, who previous worked alongside him at both Walsall and Brentford.
We can confirm that Richard O’Kelly has joined the club as Assistant Head Coach ✍️#PartOfThePride #AVFC pic.twitter.com/Ln4QqqLci7
— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) October 15, 2018
While O’Kelly and Smith go way back, the new Villa Head Coach also has history with his other Assistant Head Coach, John Terry, having coached his brother Paul for three years at Leyton Orient.
Smith said in their initial phone call before Terry was confirmed, the former Chelsea captain had reservations about treading on any toes, but Smith reassured him, he wanted him involved at all levels.
“I spoke to him at length,” said Smith, who also laid out the advantage of having Terry on board.
“With what he’s done in the game and the coaches he’s worked under, for him to want to work under me, is very good for me, said, Smith, in his first club interview.
“I can tap into his knowledge. He’ll be involved in everything i do.”
It seems Smith is more than happy to encourage and nurture Terry’s transition into coaching, telling Terry in their first phone call regarding Villa, “I’ll involve you in everything. I want you to be involved. That’s how you learn.”
The new coaching team begin their journey this weekend at Villa Park, a ground where Smith has been unbeaten in three visits as Brentford boss.
Hopefully, it’s an unbeaten run will continue a while longer now he’s Villa’s top man.