Assistant Head Coach John Terry has left the club after a number of years under Dean Smith.
Words: Andrew Maddox | @MaddoxJourno
Aston Villa assistant head coach John Terry has announced his surprise departure from the club.
Terry’s departure was announced via the club’s website on Monday morning. The lengthy statement from Terry read:
“It has been a tremendous honour and privilege to spend these last three years at Aston Villa, but I feel now is the right time to make the extremely difficult decision to move on.
“I want to be as respectful to the manager and everyone at Aston Villa as I can and, having given my future serious consideration over the summer, I genuinely don’t feel it is fair to move into a new season without being certain of seeing it through.
“My immediate plan is to spend some quality time with my family and, thereafter, hopefully take up some invitations to visit clubs and managers around Europe to develop my aim and objective of becoming a manager.
“It has always been my ambition to move into football management and, providing the right opportunity presents itself, I feel ready to take up such a challenge”.
The former Aston Villa captain has been with the club since 2017 across two spells as a player and a coach. He was brought to the club by Steve Bruce and was given the captain’s armband during the 2017/18 season. He formed a formidable partnership with James Chester that season, but he could not quite carry Villa to promotion from the Championship, with Aston Villa losing in the Play-Off Final to Fulham.
He briefly left the club but returned in October 2018 as assistant to Dean Smith alongside Richard O’Kelly. Terry formed a crucial part of the backroom team that fired Aston Villa towards promotion at the end of that season as well as keeping them in the Premier League in 2020. He was assisted by the considerable experience of Craig Shakespeare during the 2020/21 season, helping Villa achieve their best Premier League finish for a decade.
Terry has been linked with numerous management jobs during his time at Aston Villa. He was Dean Smith’s assumed successor should he ever move on, but now Terry feels that his ambitions are better taken elsewhere. He has most recently been linked with the vacant managerial post at Swansea City, though John Eustace is thought to have the edge on Terry for that role.
It is unknown if Terry will be replaced at Aston Villa. Villa’s model of three assistants to the head coach last season is highly unusual, with Smith typically preferring having two. With Shakespeare and O’Kelly by his side now, Smith may choose to return to his favoured model next season. However, both Mark Delaney and Mile Jedinak have been coaching the first team during Pre-Season in Smith and Terry’s absence so there may be an internal promotion.
The Chelsea legend leaves Villa Park as an incredibly popular figure and a well-respected coach and surely won’t be long out of the game.