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
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
This session is designed to encourage attacking midfielders and wide players to make deep runs in behind the opposition defenders. MORE
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
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
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
In the session, we look for the different movements of the strikers in linking up to create space and opportunities for both themselves and others MORE