Charlotte, NC - By Sean Connolly – Excitement and optimism reverberate through the Queen City as Charlotte FC proudly unveils its new head coach, the esteemed Dean Smith. The 52-year-old Premier League veteran brings a wealth of experience and a track record of success that has fans buzzing with anticipation for the 2024 season.
In his introductory statement, Smith expressed his honor and enthusiasm about joining the ambitious project at Charlotte FC. The former Aston Villa boss, known for leading his childhood favorite team back to the Premier League in 2019, has signed a multi-year contract pending visa approval.
Owner David Tepper exuded confidence in the appointment, stating, “We’re confident his leadership and experience will help elevate our Club beyond its first playoff appearance into a championship team.”
Aston Villa Triumph and Premier League Success
Dean Smith's managerial prowess came to the fore when he took the reins at Aston Villa in 2018. Guiding the team to a historic 2-1 victory over Derby County at Wembley Stadium, Smith secured promotion back to the Premier League. Aston Villa's subsequent 10 successive victories in the promotion-winning campaign marked a 109-year club record.
In the Premier League, Smith ensured Aston Villa's survival on the final day of their first season back and achieved an impressive 11th place finish in the following season. His accolades include being named Premier League Manager of the Month in December 2020, overseeing a stunning 7-2 victory against title holders Liverpool.
Proven Eye for Talent and Player Recruitment
Smith's reputation extends beyond the touchline, showcasing a keen eye for talent and successful player recruitment. The likes of Ollie Watkins, Emiliano Martínez, and Matty Cash joined Villa Park under Smith's management. Notably, he played a crucial role in the development of English international Jack Grealish, who was later sold to Manchester City for a then British transfer record of £100 million.
Sporting Director Zoran Krneta expressed the club's delight, stating, “Dean is a well-respected manager with over a decade of professional coaching, including at the highest level of the game in the Premier League, and we’re delighted to welcome him to Charlotte FC.”
A Storied Career On and Off the Pitch
Smith's journey in football began as a player with over 500 appearances in the Championship, League One, and League Two. His coaching career commenced in the youth ranks at Leyton Orient, eventually earning him the role of assistant. Smith then moved to Walsall FC, where he not only managed the first team but also orchestrated their first trip to Wembley Stadium in the club’s 127-year history.
A successful tenure at Brentford FC followed, marked by consistent top-half finishes and the recruitment of future Premier League stars. Smith’s arrival at Charlotte FC is not just a coaching acquisition; it's a testament to his enduring legacy in English football.
Looking Ahead to a Bright Future
As Dean Smith embarks on this new chapter with Charlotte FC, fans can't help but feel a sense of optimism and anticipation. The combination of
his experience, leadership, and proven success make him the ideal candidate to guide the team to new heights in Major League Soccer.
Charlotte FC supporters are eager to witness Smith's impact on the squad, especially considering his impressive track record of elevating teams to new levels of achievement. The anticipation is palpable, and the prospect of Smith replicating his success with Aston Villa and Brentford at Charlotte FC has ignited a renewed sense of hope and excitement among fans.
With a strategic mind for player development and recruitment, coupled with a proven ability to instill a winning mentality, Dean Smith brings a winning formula to Charlotte FC. The anticipation for the 2024 season is building, and fans are ready to rally behind their new head coach as he leads the team into what promises to be an exciting era for Charlotte FC.
As we eagerly await the official start of the season, let's welcome Dean Smith and his family to Charlotte with open arms. The Queen City is ready to embrace its new football maestro, and with Dean Smith at the helm, the future looks incredibly promising for Charlotte FC.
Exciting times lie ahead for the fans, players, and staff of Charlotte FC. Stay tuned for updates, and let's cheer on Dean Smith and Charlotte FC as they embark on this thrilling journey together!