Brighton confirm 31-year-old Fabian Hürzeler as new head coach

<span>Fabian Hürzeler at the centre of St Pauli’s celebrations in May after their promotion to the Bundesliga.</span><span>Photograph: Action Press/Shutterstock</span>
Fabian Hürzeler at the centre of St Pauli’s celebrations in May after their promotion to the Bundesliga.Photograph: Action Press/Shutterstock

Brighton have confirmed the appointment of Fabian ­Hürzeler as their head coach. The 31-year-old led St Pauli to pro­motion to the Bundesliga last month and becomes the youngest permanent manager in the Premier League era.

Hürzeler takes over from Roberto De Zerbi, who left by mutual consent. St Pauli returned to the top division after 13 years under Hürzeler and the German has signed a contract with Brighton until 2027.

He said conversations with the Brighton hierarchy had shown him they were “highly ambitious”. He told the club website: “Brighton have a unique history and a bold vision for the future so I am truly excited to be part of the project. The club has made incredible progress over the last few seasons and the aim is to continue building on that success.”

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Hürzeler turned 31 at the end of ­February and will be younger than several members of Brighton’s squad, including the 38-year-old James Milner. He played for Bayern Munich’s ­academy and in Germany’s lower leagues before becoming player-manager for fourth-tier Pipinsried and took over as St Pauli’s head coach in 2022 at a point when they were threatened with relegation.

Brighton’s chairman, Tony Bloom, said: “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.

“He has a style of play that aligns with how we want a Brighton & 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.”