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Roberts: Jones Will Be a Hit

20 July 2013

Albion have pulled off a real coup by appointing Nathan Jones as assistant head coach, says former team-mate and colleague Ben Roberts.

The pair have a long-standing association, having played together for the Seagulls and Yeovil Town, before working as coaches at Charlton Athletic.

Jones steered the Addicks to the Under-21 Professional Development League 2 title last season and Roberts states that the Londoners’ loss is most definitely Albion’s gain.

Charlton’s goalkeeper coach told, “Nathan made such an impact at Charlton that it’s going to take the coaching staff and especially his players a while to get over it.

“That he won the title in his one season at the club is a clear indication of his abilities – he really did fit the bill with his style of coaching and the way he motivated his players - so Brighton have acquired someone who I fully expect to not only become a top coach but also a top manager.”

Roberts first had an idea of Jones’s coaching credentials when the pair played for the Albion between 2003 and 2005.

“Nathan was a very good player but his interest in coaching was evident right back then. Dean Wilkins was in charge of the youth team and Nathan would watch them train, and he would always stay behind and talk football - he was a student of the game.

“When we were reunited at Yeovil it didn’t surprise me that he moved into coaching as his playing career wound down. He gained invaluable experience from his time working as Terry Skiverton’s assistant there and it stood him in good stead for his next career move.

“It’s never easy dealing with players who have just turned pro and are trying to make that leap to the first-team set-up, but Nathan did a superb job at Charlton in that role. It was another sensible career move for him.”

Roberts also believes that, given his success at Charlton, Nathan would have only left The Valley for one club.

“Nathan has always had an affinity with Brighton the football club and Brighton the city. I’m not sure he would have left if it wasn’t the Albion who came in for him. While I’m disappointed he has left Charlton, I wish him all the best and I know he’ll be a big success there.”

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