Richard O’Kelly will join Dean Smith’s backroom staff at Aston Villa, according to journalist Matt Hughes on Twitter.

The experienced coach will make the move from Brentford to Villa Park with Smith. John Terry also has a place in the dugout but his precise role is yet to be clarified.

O’Kelly has worked with Smith as his assistant manager at both Walsall and Brentford. They have known each other since their playing days at Walsall.

O’Kelly, who is 61 years-old, spent time as a player at Walsall, Port Vale and Grimsby Town as a striker and racked up 283 appearances in his career, scoring 71 goals.

He has worked at Aston Villa before in his early coaching years so already knows the club. O’Kelly had coaching spells at Port Vale, Grimsby, West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa before becoming the assistant manager at Hereford United in 2002.

O’Kelly spent two years in that role before having assistant manager stints at AFC Bournemouth and Doncaster Rovers. He then got his first and only managerial job at Hereford in March 2012 but could not prevent them from relegation from League Two.

The experienced coach then reunited with Smith at Walsall, albeit with a brief detour at Bristol City in 2013, before returning to the Midlands with his trusted companion. O’Kelly then went to Brentford with Smith and is set to do the same now to Aston Villa.

Dean Smith’s appointment at Villa has received a positive reaction from Aston Villa fans. Brentford will be disappointed he has left but here are five potential candidates they could go for, as reported by The72 earlier today.


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Hull City writer for The72. Twitter- @Harry_Mail1.

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