Luton Town have appointed Brighton & Hove Albion first team coach Nathan Jones as their new first team manager.
The 42-year-old has signed a two-and-a-half year contract at Kenilworth Road after forging himself a fine reputation as a coach and assistant manager since hanging up his boots in 2009.
Jones holds a UEFA Pro Licence and last summer helped England Under-21 boss Gareth Southgate prepare the Young Lions for their UEFA Under-21 championship campaign in the Czech Republic.
Town chief executive Gary Sweet told the club’s official website: “On behalf of the board I am thrilled and excited to welcome Nathan Jones to Luton Town.
“After a lengthy and thorough process, in which we received numerous excellent candidates for the position, we believe that have found the best man to lead the club’s footballing aspirations forward.
“Nathan is a professional, disciplined, strong and open-minded character who is going to install a hard-working team ethic and, importantly, the prospect of fast-flowing football to Kenilworth Road.
“The board believe Nathan will modernise our club’s football culture, blending the elements of our footballing heritage with a modern, forward-thinking philosophy.”Gary Sweet
“The board believe Nathan will modernise our club’s football culture, blending the elements of our footballing heritage with a modern, forward-thinking philosophy.
“As a club we realise a change of thinking will not happen overnight, but we are already excited at the prospect of Nathan’s ideas and vision for Luton Town.”
As a player, Jones began his professional career at Kenilworth Road 20 years ago, when David Pleat signed him for £10,000 from Merthyr Tydfil in 1995.
He left without making a first team appearance after a year, moving to Spain where he played for Numancia and Badajoz, returning to England for spells with Southend, Brighton and Yeovil, racking up over games and winning promotion three times.
He began his coaching career with Yeovil as assistant manager and helped nurture future England internationals Andros Townsend, Steven Caulker and Ryan Mason, during his time at Huish Park, all of whom had joined Yeovil on-loan from Tottenham.
After a brief spell as Under-21s manager at Charlton, Jones was appointed assistant head coach to Oscar Garcia at Brighton in 2013, before becoming first team coach under Sami Hyppia.
He led the team as interim manager last season after Hyppia’s exit, while returning to first team coach under new manager Chris Hughton.