Aston Villa hires Terry as assistant to new coach Smith

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Former Chelsea captain John Terry has been given his first coaching role after being hired as an assistant to new Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith.

Villa announced the hiring of Smith and Terry on Wednesday evening, with the former Premier League club hoping the duo can help bring the club back into England’s top tier after being relegated in 2016.

Smith is leaving his post at Brentford to take the job, while Terry moves into coaching after recently announcing his retirement as a player. Terry spent last season at Aston Villa after ending his near two-decade career with Chelsea.

The club also appointed Jesus Garcia Pitarch as sporting director. The Spaniard previously held similar roles at both Valencia and Atletico Madrid.

Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow said on the club’s website: “These three appointments represent the start of a new era and direction at Aston Villa and we are delighted to secure their services after an extensive search.”