Brighton appoint Fabian Hurzeler, 31, breaking Premier League record for youngest head coach | Football News

Brighton have appointed Fabian Hurzeler as their new head coach.

Hurzeler, 31, has agreed a three-year-contract with the south coast club and becomes the youngest permanent manager in Premier League history after succeeding Roberto De Zerbi.

As Sky Sports News has reported, Hurzeler became a leading candidate for the job following their data-led analysis and Brighton contacted St Pauli last Saturday to open negotiations regarding a compensation figure.

He guided St Pauli to promotion to the Bundesliga after winning last season’s Bundesliga 2 title.

firo: 01.03.2024, football, soccer, 2nd league, 2nd Bundesliga, season 2023/2024, FC Schalke 04 - FC Sankt Pauli 3:1 Fabian Hurzeler, half figure, coach, from, FC Sankt Pauli Photo by: Jan Fromme/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Hurzeler said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be the new head coach of Brighton & Hove Albion.

“After speaking to Tony [Bloom], Paul [Barber] and David [Weir], it was clear that they are highly ambitious. The club has a unique history and bold vision for the future, so I am truly excited to be part of the project.

“The club has made incredible progress over the last few seasons and the aim is to continue building on that success. I am relishing the opportunity to coach in the Premier League, and I can’t wait to meet the players, staff and, of course, the fans.”

St Pauli
Hurzeler guided St Pauli to promotion to the Bundesliga after winning last season’s Bundesliga 2 title

Brighton chairman Bloom said, “From the start of the process to appoint our new head coach, Fabian was always a standout candidate and one who had caught our attention with his exceptional work at St Pauli over the past 18 months.

“He has a style of play that aligns with how we want a Brighton & Hove Albion team to play, and I’m confident it is one our supporters will appreciate and enjoy.

“Fabian also has an excellent coaching pedigree and has worked with the German federation at various age group levels. We are really excited to start working with Fabian to prepare for the upcoming season.”

He has already shown in a relatively short space of time as a head coach that he is one of the most innovative coaches working in football, and we are looking forward to getting ready for next season.

Brighton deputy chairman and chief executive Paul Barber

Sky Sports News reported that former Seagulls boss Graham Potter would not be returning for a second spell as head coach despite talks between him and the club.

The Englishman is now interesting Leicester with Potter on their shortlist to replace Enzo Maresca, who left the newly-promoted side to become Chelsea boss.

Hurzeler will be presented to the media at a news conference on July 2.

‘Hurzeler has excellent knowledge of the squad already’

Brighton technical director David Weir said:

“We will work closely with Fabian to help him settle in, and to get to know the club, staff and the area.

“Fabian already has an excellent knowledge of our squad and players, and we will be working to strengthen an already very strong squad during the transfer window.

“We will confirm all of Fabian’s immediate backroom staff in due course, although Andrew Crofts and Jack Stern will be part of that coaching group, as first-team coach and goalkeeping coach respectively.”

Why Brighton have appointed Hurzeler

Fabian Hurzeler

It is probably not the first time you have seen his age mentioned and it definitely will not be the last. That is to be expected considering the seven-year gap between Hurzeler and the next-youngest manager in the league, Ipswich’s Kieran McKenna.

Hurzeler had never been in charge of a first-team side until he took the St Pauli job in December 2022. With only 18 months of management under his belt, he may look like a fledgling in the game, but his coaching exploits began in his early 20s before his retirement at 23.

Read William Bitibiri’s feature on Brighton’s new boss here.

‘One of the hottest German coaches’

St. Pauli coach Fabian H..rzeler is lifted by fans who invaded the field after their team won 3-1 during a second division, Bundesliga soccer match between St. Pauli and VfL, at the Millerntor Stadium, in Hamburg, Germany, Sunday, May 12, 2024. (Christian Charisius/dpa via AP)
Hurzeler is lifted into the air by St Pauli fans after securing promotion

Sky Germany reporter Florian Plettenberg:

“Hurzeler was a former professional footballer and only started his managerial career a few years ago. I would say he’s one of the hottest coaches in German football. Many German clubs are interested in him as well.

“On their way to promotion, St Pauli played sensational football. Hurzeler is a good character and a good guy. He’s a bit like Julian Nagelsmann – they’re both very modern, very confident, very brave. Hurzeler loves to attack, he wants to have the ball. He’s not a defensive coach.

“I can understand why Brighton have kept an eye on Hurzeler. He is very ambitious and for sure, 31 years of age is very young, but he has nothing to lose.

“He has a great connection with the players, he’s a leading figure despite his age, and he was absolutely accepted around the club with the fans.

“For Hurzeler, he has to ask himself if it’s the right step for him right now, but from the way he manages the team and the way he wants to play football, he could be the perfect solution and a very brave solution for Brighton at this stage.”

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