Boss names staff as Leon focuses on playing

30th December 2017
First team

Swans boss Carlos Carvalhal has confirmed four new members of his backroom team ahead of his first Premier League game in charge at Watford today.

The Portuguese has added fellow countrymen Joao Mario (above left) and Bruno Lage (above right) as coaches, while Jhony Conceicao and Paulo Sampaio will join the club as additional analysts.

Leon Britton, who joined the coaching set-up under former manager Paul Clement before taking over as caretaker boss for the last two games, will not be part of the backroom team after the midfielder decided to concentrate fully on playing again this season.

“In fairness to the manager and chairman, they offered me the opportunity to stay as part of the new coaching set-up,” explained Britton, who stepped up into a player-assistant coach role on November 13 following the departure of Claude Makelele.

“They left the decision entirely down to me, and I had to decide whether I wanted to be a coach or a player.

“I thought long and hard about it and while I enjoyed the coaching experience and learnt a lot in a short space of time, I still feel I can have a positive impact on the pitch as a player. I think that will be more beneficial to the club at this stage of the season.

“I am not ready to retire as a player yet, so I will review things again at the end of the season.”

Britton, who has another full week of rehab ahead of him following a calf injury, is expected to rejoin training after the FA Cup tie at Wolves on January 6.

Mario – full name Joao Mario Ferreira Oliveira – is a former Portuguese midfielder who played nine seasons and 199 games in the Primeira Liga for the likes of Braga, Tirsense and Famalicao.

After coaching in Portugal’s National League (Third Division and Second Division B), the 51-year-old became the technical co-ordinator and coach of Moreirense’s youth development academy.

He was then Carvalhal’s assistant coach with Vitoria Setubal (Portugal), Astreras Tripoli (Greece), Sporting CP (Portugal), Besiktas (Turkey) and Istanbul BB (Turkey) before joining him at Al-Ahly FC Dubai as under-19 youth team coach.

Lage, 41, started his coaching career at Vitoria Setubsl in 1997. With a degree in physical education, health sciences and sports, (football specialty), he went on to coach teams in the First Division District as well as three teams in the Third Division and Second Division B in Portugal’s National League.

Lage worked at Benfica’s youth academy (under-15, 17 and 19) between 2004-05 and 2012 and became the department’s assistant co-ordinator in 2010.

As Benfica’s youth coach, Lage won the Portugal Under-15 and Under-17 National Championship in 2009 and 2011 respectively and was named Benfica’s coach of the year twice.

In 2012, Lage teamed up with Carvalhal at Al-Ahly as under-19s and then reserve-team coach before following him to Sheffield Wednesday.

Analysts Conceicao (pictured above) and Sampaio were also at Sheffield Wednesday with Carvalhal before his departure on Christmas Eve.

Any further backroom updates will follow in due course.