Berliner Tageblatt - Brighton make Hurzeler, 31, youngest Premier League manager

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Brighton make Hurzeler, 31, youngest Premier League manager
Brighton make Hurzeler, 31, youngest Premier League manager / Photo: © AFP

Brighton make Hurzeler, 31, youngest Premier League manager

Fabian Hurzeler became the youngest full-time manager of an English Premier League club after Brighton announced Saturday they had appointed the 31-year-old as their new head coach.

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Hurzeler, who guided St Pauli to German football's Bundesliga second division title last season, has signed a contract with the south coast club until 2027.

The Texas-born Hurzeler will now be in charge of a Seagulls squad where several players, including James Milner, 38, Danny Welbeck, 33, and Lewis Dunk, 32 are all older than him.

But Brighton chairman Tony Bloom said Hurzeler's work in taking St Pauli to the German top-flight made him a "standout candidate" to succeed Roberto De Zerbi, who left the Amex Stadium at the end of last season.

Hurzeler will start his new job when he receives a work permit before Brighton's squad embarks on pre-season preparations in July.

"From the start of the process to appoint our new head coach, Fabian was always a standout candidate and one who had caught our attention with his exceptional work at St Pauli over the past 18 months," said Bloom in a club statement.

"He has a style of play that aligns with how we want a Brighton and Hove Albion team to play and I'm confident it is one our supporters will appreciate and enjoy.

"Fabian also has an excellent coaching pedigree and has worked with the German federation at various age group levels. We are really excited to start working with Fabian to prepare for the upcoming season."

- 'Bold vision' -

Hurzeler, who took his first coaching role in 2016, said: "I am absolutely thrilled to be the new head coach of Brighton and Hove Albion.

He added: "The club has a unique history and bold vision for the future, so I am truly excited to be part of the project."

St Pauli sporting director Andreas Bornemann, while sad to see Hurzeler leave, said the club respected his "desire" to work in the Premier League.

"Fabian has done an excellent job both as assistant and head coach of St. Pauli," said Bornemann.

"We knew that he could also be of interest to other clubs. We would have liked to continue down this path with him...We wish Fabian all the best and plenty of success for the future."

Ryan Mason, then 29, was briefly Tottenham's interim boss in 2021 and the youngest coach to lead a Premier League team. But Hurzeler is the youngest to do so on a full-time basis since the division's creation in 1992.

De Zerbi took charge of Brighton in September 2022 and led the Seagulls to their highest top-flight finish when they came sixth in the 2022/23 season.

The Italian also steered Brighton into Europe for the first time in their history, advancing to the Europa League last 16 before losing to Roma 4-1 on aggregate.