Dean Smith joined Leicester City in April 2023 on a deal until the end of the season.
Most recently working at Norwich City, the 52-year-old has also overseen promotion to the Premier League as Aston Villa manager, following time in charge of Brentford during a successful spell in the capital. A defender during his playing days, Smith began his career at Walsall, playing more than 150 times for the Saddlers across five years in the West Midlands. A stint at Hereford United came next, with over a century of appearances to his name before moving on to Leyton Orient.
After a total of 309 games for the club, Smith joined Sheffield Wednesday, spending a year-and-a-half at Hillsborough prior to his career coming to a close at Port Vale having featured in close to 600 Football League fixtures. Smith’s coaching career started with former club Leyton Orient, working as a youth coach and then assistant manager for four years between 2005 and 2009. The summer of that year brought a move to another former side, Walsall, appointed as head of the Saddlers’ youth setup.
By January 2011, Smith became first team manager, initially as caretaker, steering the club to League 1 safety after being nine points adrift when he took over. Another high point during his tenure arrived in 2015, reaching the EFL Trophy Final – Walsall’s first appearance at the new Wembley Stadium. Later that year, after being honoured with a Special Achievement Award by the LMA having finished in third position in League 1, Brentford came calling, appointing Smith as their manager in November 2015.
His first season of managerial experience in the Championship ended with a commendable ninth-place finish, signing several of the players that would later help the Bees consolidate themselves in the Premier League.
Two further top-10 finishes led to Aston Villa acquiring his services – with John Terry as assistant coach – in October 2018, following just short of three years at Brentford. A remarkable first season saw Villa rise from 15th position in the Championship upon his arrival to winning the play-offs at the end of the 2018/19 season, leading to a Premier League return for the Midlands club. Their run into the top six included breaking a 109-year-old club record for the longest winning streak by claiming 10 consecutive victories, before beating Derby County in the play-off final.
A place in the final of the League Cup followed in 2020, but there wasn’t to be more Wembley glory for the Villans, losing out to Manchester City in the showpiece, having overcome Leicester City in a two-legged semi-final. That same campaign saw Villa survive relegation on the final day of the 2019/20 season.
A memorable result in the third game of the next season saw Villa defeat reigning champions Liverpool 7-2 at Villa Park, part of the club’s best start to a season since 1930. Smith brought up a century of games as Villa manager in December 2020, eventually finishing in 11th position. Leaving Villa three months into the 2021/22 campaign, Smith soon joined Norwich City, winning his first game in charge, but was unable to prevent the Canaries’ relegation from the Premier League at the end of that season. Following 13 months in charge of the Norfolk club, Smith’s time as Norwich manager came to an end, with Leicester City his next destination, alongside coaches Craig Shakespeare and John Terry.
First Team Coach
Craig Shakespeare is a figure well known to Leicester City supporters having managed the Club for an eight-month spell in 2017 and he also enjoyed several successful seasons as assistant manager and caretaker manager. The Birmingham-born former midfielder became a significant figure in the Foxes’ history by playing a vital role in a journey which saw City rise from League 1 to Premier League winners and UEFA Champions League quarter-finalists.
Over the course of a 17-year career, between 1981 and 1998, Shakespeare made over 350 appearances for Walsall, playing alongside Dean Smith, and featured in the old First Division with Sheffield Wednesday, where he was Nigel Pearson’s team-mate. He also played in more than a century of games for both West Bromwich Albion and Grimsby Town before a brief spell at Scunthorpe United. In 1999, he returned to the Baggies, coaching in the academy and then, in 2006, overseeing the reserve team. Shakespeare managed one first team game too, claiming victory over Crystal Palace, before Tony Mowbray was appointed.
Initially arriving at Leicester in June 2008 as part of Pearson's coaching team, with the Club newly relegated to League 1, immediate promotion back to the second tier was secured in 2009 and the Foxes went on to reach the Championship play-offs a year later.
Returning to Leicester alongside Pearson in October 2011, following a 17-month spell at Hull City, Shakespeare assisted the Championship title win of 2013/14, before the 'Great Escape' from Premier League relegation a season later. When Pearson left King Power Stadium during the summer of 2015, Shakespeare continued as assistant manager under Claudio Ranieri, remarkably winning the Premier League title during the 2015/16 season.
In February 2017, Shakespeare was appointed caretaker manager and became the first English manager to win his first five Premier League games during a run of six consecutive victories which also included success over Sevilla in the Champions League, a result which saw Leicester qualify for the quarter-finals of the prestigious European competition. Finishing the season in 12th, Shakespeare also took on a brief coaching role with England, while his Leicester tenure came to a close in October 2017. His contribution to the most successful period in the Club’s history was not forgotten.
Three months after leaving King Power Stadium, Shakespeare worked under manager Sam Allardyce at Everton, leaving in May 2018 before linking up with Pearson once more as Watford’s assistant manager in December 2019, a role he left in July 2020. The 59-year-old then became Dean Smith’s assistant manager at Aston Villa for 2020/21, as Villa ended the season in 11th. Leaving alongside Smith in November 2021, they soon joined up again at Norwich City, spending 13 months at Carrow Road.
First Team Coach
A Chelsea legend, John Terry won every major club honour during his two decades at Stamford Bridge, including the Champions League, Europa League, Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup – the latter three on multiple occasions – while also captaining the Blues during a distinguished career. The only Premier League player to lead a team to five top-flight titles, he made more than 500 appearances for the west London side overall, becoming Chelsea’s all-time highest scoring defender in the process.
A no-nonsense centre-half with plenty of on-the-ball quality, those attributes were utilised by his country, too, with an international career that involved playing in two FIFA World Cups and two UEFA European Championships for England, earning a total of 78 international caps. The 42-year-old’s individual honours include winning PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 2004/05 and being named in the PFA Team of the Century, as well as in the FIFPro World XI for five successive seasons.
Once his playing days came to a close with Villa in 2018, reaching the Championship play-off final at the end of his final season, Terry became Dean Smith’s assistant head coach at the Midlands club, spending three seasons at Villa Park, during which time promotion back to the Premier League was secured at the second attempt. A return to Chelsea arrived in early 2022, in a coaching consultancy role within the club’s academy, prior to taking the job to work under Smith at Leicester.
First Team Coach
Newcastle-born Adam Sadler joined the Foxes as a tactical analyst in 2014 and is now a valued part of the first team set-up. Having been on the books of Manchester United as a young player, he turned to coaching aged 20 and worked for over eight years at Newcastle United in a number of coaching roles, including reserve team manager.
Following spells with Norwich City and Plymouth Argyle, he spent two seasons as Under-18s coach at Manchester City before joining Leicester following the Club’s promotion to the Premier League. Originally appointed to provide tactical insights into Premier League opposition, Sadler is now primarily focused on day-to-day coaching at LCFC Training Ground.
Following the departure of Claude Puel in February 2019, Sadler and Mike Stowell oversaw a 2-1 win for the Foxes in the Premier League ahead of Rodgers' first game for the Club.
First Team Coach & Goalkeeper Coach
Mike Stowell has worked in a range of roles at Leicester City since 2005 – becoming a key part of the Club’s rise from the third tier of English football to its apex. In that time, the Foxes have won titles in League 1, the Championship and the Premier League, also lifting the FA Cup and the FA Community Shield, and competing in every knockout European competition.
Stowell enjoyed a successful playing career before hanging up his gloves – spending over 10 years as Wolves’ No.1, making over 400 first team appearances.
During his time at Molineux, Stowell was part of the team that won the 1988/89 Third Division title and was also called up to the England B squad. After a spell at Bristol City, spending the next four seasons at the club, Stowell took a role as Leicester City's goalkeeping coach in 2005. During his time at King Power Stadium, Stowell has also acted as assistant manager and caretaker manager on several occasions.
First Team Set-Piece Coach
Lars Knudsen joined the Club in 2022 to assist the first team with set-piece preparation and planning, a role he also carries out for the United States national side. A former assistant manager at FC Midtjylland in the Danish Super League between 2016 and 2018, Lars has a wealth of experience, after undertaking roles with Denmark’s U18s, U19s and U20s national teams, also working as a scout for the senior men’s team too.
Knudsen also worked for AaB Fodbold for nearly eight years, with roles including reserve team head coach, first team scout and U17s head coach. He also holds a UEFA Pro License and a master’s degree in Applied Philosophy.
Head Of Fitness & Conditioning
Matt Reeves is responsible for ensuring the implementation of effective sports science services at the Football Club. His main objectives surround reducing injury occurrence, while improving physical preparation, athletic development and overall performance.
As a Sport and Exercise Science graduate from Loughborough University, Reeves’ first opportunity within professional sport came when he interned at the Club back in 2008. The following season, he worked as first team sports scientist on a full-time basis before moving to Hull City as part of Nigel Pearson’s backroom team.
Having re-joined Leicester City in December 2011, he has been heavily involved in the work undertaken by the sports science department throughout that transformational period for the Club. Aside from his work with the Foxes, he has also provided support to the England youth teams on international camps.
Leicester City’s work on sports science has become renowned throughout the game as industry leading under Reeves’ leadership.
Dr. Mark Waller
Head Of Medical
Dr. Mark Waller, who joined Leicester City in the summer of 2022, is an experienced sports medicine practitioner after spells with Liverpool, Al Jazira Club, Aston Villa, Hull City, Rangers and the England Under-21s.
Over 17 years at Anfield, Waller rose to become the head of the medical department, until 2010, when he was named as medical director at Al Jazira Club, based in Abu Dhabi.
He would soon return to England, working at Aston Villa for nine months, before working for over five years as team doctor at Hull City between 2013 and 2018. In 2018, meanwhile, Waller followed Steven Gerrard, a player he treated at Liverpool, to Rangers, where he would spend the next four years, later taking up a post as head of medicine at Leicester City.
First Team Staff
|Dr. Ian Patchett||Club Doctor|
|Gary Silk||First Team Physiotherapist|
|Ed Richmond||First Team Physiotherapist|
|Jonny King||First Team Physiotherapist|
|Reuben Walker||First Team Masseur|
|Rob Smith||First Team Masseur|
|Fiona Gore||First Team Masseur|
|Kevin Paxton||First Team Athletic Development Officer|
|Tom Joel||First Team Sports Scientist|
|Mitch Willis||First Team Strength & Power Coach|
|Andy Blake||First Team Lead Performance Analyst|
|Pete Clark||First Team Performance Analyst|
|Matthew Edge||First Team Performance Analyst|
|Jack Lyons||First Team Post-Match Analyst|
|Paul McAndrew||Kit Manager|
|Jon Sanders||First Team Player Liaison Officer|