Selles joins Southampton after trio of assistants are sacked

Selles helped Copenhagen to the Danish league title last season

Selles helped Copenhagen to the Danish league title last season

RUBEN SELLES has been appointed First Team Lead Coach at Southampton after long-serving assistants Kelvin Davis, Dave Watson and Craig Fleming were sacked by the south coast club.

Spaniard Selles, 38, has already worked for 11 clubs in six different countries (Denmark, Spain, Azerbaijan, Norway, Greece and Russia) and recently helped FC Copenhagen to their first league title in three seasons.

“I think I know how to adapt quick into new environments with new people, new players, new culture, and that has been a big point in the last 10 years of my career," Selles said.

“Always in Southampton you speak about the family, so I think that has been one of the main points – to be able to create that kind of environment in a team and to perform together to reach the next level.

“I love when you can create an environment with a lot of players from the Academy, when a lot of lads are arriving to the first team and performing.

“A lot of the time it is about giving them the opportunity, not just about their quality. Sometimes we will prefer someone a little bit more experienced from the outside, somebody more exotic, but at the end of the day the boys that are educated in the Academy and the young players that are coming from other clubs are hungry and sometimes have better abilities.”

Southampton said that Selles would be assisting manager Ralph Hasenhüttl “on all coaching matters, including individual player development and unit and team coaching, as well as key preparation for training sessions and matches.”

The Valencia-born coach, who has a Master's in sports and physiology and who started his Uefa Pro Licence at 25, said: “Ralph is a coach that likes to be active with his team, likes to defend really, really high, likes to have a good defensive system to press high, to get the back four far away from the goalkeeper, to press the opponent, to get the ball back as quick as possible, so I would say we have a lot of common points with our philosophy.

“Ralph is from the Red Bull philosophy, where you can find the organisation and the respect to the ball that you need, so I think we are in the same line - of course with different details, and that’s why it’s going to be good, because we can, from each perspective, give the best to the team.”

New Southampton owners Sport Republic had been keen to shake up Hassenhuttl’s backroom staff following a disappointing end to last season that saw the side finish 15th in the Premier League.

A trio of assistants have been sacked from Hassenhuttl’s staff:

  • Kelvin Davis: Had been with the club for 16 years, first as a player (he made 271 appearances for the club), and then as senior first-team coach and assistant.
  • Dave Watson: Joined from Norwich in 2014 and was promoted to Head of Goalkeeping in 2016. Has also worked with England, under Roy Hodgson,
  • Craig Fleming: Appointed Lead U18s coach by Saints in 2015 and progressed to become U23s Lead and then assistant under Hasenhüttl in 2018.

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