Former Tunisian international Rahdi Jaidi has been appointed as Head Coach of Hartford Athletic after serving previously as Coach of Southampton FC's U-23 team. | Photo courtesy Southampton FC
HARTFORD, Conn. – Hartford Athletic announced on Thursday that Radhi Jaidi has been named the club’s Head Coach as it prepares for it second USL Championship season, subject to the completion of relevant documentation. Jaidi comes from Southampton FC of the Premier League where he served as Head Coach of the club’s Under-23 team.
The move signals the first stage of a developing partnership between Hartford Athletic and the Southampton Academy, which may in the future involve the loan of players. It also allows Southampton to strengthen the identification of talented young players in the United States whilst sharing its extensive knowledge and experience in young player development.
“We have concluded our international search for our next head coach and could not be more excited to welcome Radhi to Hartford,” said Hartford Athletic Chairman and CEO Bruce Mandell. “Our fans have given us a mandate to build a world-class organization, and Radhi brings everything to the table that we need to achieve this goal as our leader on the field. We thank Southampton Football Club for putting their trust in our organization and look forward to our growing relationship.”
As a player, Jaidi made more than 100 appearances for the Tunisian National Team and helped his country win the Africa Cup of Nations in 2004. At the club level, Jaidi made almost 500 appearances as he earned eight league titles and continental titles including the CAF Super Cup and African Cup Winner’s Cup with Tunisia’s Espérance. He then moved to England, where he played for Bolton Wanderers and Birmingham City before concluding his playing career with Southampton.
“I have seen the fans in action and cannot wait to be part of the atmosphere at Dillon Stadium,” said Jaidi. “We have a big task at hand, and there is so much potential in Hartford and in the USL Championship overall. Thank you to Hartford Athletic and to Southampton Football Club for the opportunity.”
New Hartford Athletic Head Coach Radhi Jaidi competed for Southampton before moving into the club's technical team following a career in which he made almost 500 club appearances in his native Tunisia and England. | Photo courtesy Southampton FC
Southampton Football Club Academy Director Matt Hale added, “The opportunity to become Head Coach of a senior team is an exciting proposition for Radhi, and we wish him well for his spell with Hartford Athletic.”
The Athletic have already welcomed back five players from the 2019 squad with defender Alex Davey, midfielders Danny Barrera, Harry Swartz and Nicky Downs, and forward Alex Dixon all set to return for the 2020 season.