Dean Smith

After finishing playing in January 2005, Dean Smith started his coaching career working with youth players at Leyton Orient, but he was soon promoted to assistant manager. Returning to his first club, Walsall, he worked as head of youth, but was given the manager’s job in January 2011, initially on a caretaker basis. Staying in the post for nearly five years, he led the Saddlers to the final of the Football League Trophy in 2015 for their first ever Wembley appearance. He managed Brentford from 2015 to 2018, where he built a team respected for its attractive style of play. Smith joined Aston Villa in late 2018.

Sessions by Dean Smith

Believing in your management

in Interviews

Walsall manager and LMA board member Dean Smith is currently the fourth longest-standing manager in the English football leagues, bucking the trend in his first role as boss. We find out how important his 26-year history with the Saddlers  has been in his tenure and success to date. MORE

Match specific defending

in Defending

Use this session to teach players the key points involved in being a solid defensive team – namely patience, and the ability to delay the opposition in order to allow for cover and support from team mates. MORE

Finishing in the box

in Attacking

The vast majority of goals scored in the penalty area are achieved using one or two touches. This session therefore rehearses quick thinking and fast shooting in danger areas, where anticipation and speed of thought is key. MORE

Crossing and finishing

in Attacking

No matter how good you are as an attacking player, you’ll always need great service, and that’s what this session coaches, notably in practising crossing situations from in and around the box. MORE

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