Hatters announce Paul Hart as Town's new academy director

First team coach to take over from Andy Awford
Paul Hart will become the Hatters' new academy directorPaul Hart will become the Hatters' new academy director
Paul Hart will become the Hatters' new academy director

Luton have announced that first team coach Paul Hart will become the club’s new academy director following Andy Awford’s departure from the role last week.

The 68-year-old former Chesterfield, Nottingham Forest, Portsmouth and QPR manager has led the youth set-up at clubs including Leeds United, Forest and Charlton Athletic, where he gave Town chief Nathan Jones his chance as U21 coach a decade ago.

Hart has been at Kenilworth Road for the majority of Jones’ two spells as manager, arriving initially as his assistant in May 2016, leaving to join Stoke City in 2019 and then heading back in June 2020 to join the coaching staff once the Welshman returned in lockdown.

The 68-year-old takes on a role that has seen him develop some of the country’s top young talent at previous clubs, including future England internationals Jonathan Woodgate, Jermaine Jenas and Joe Gomez.

Hatters CEO Gary Sweet said: “Paul is a logical choice to replace Andy as head of our academy.

"He is already in the building, having been a huge part of our rise up the Football League since he first came in at the end of the 2015-16 season, and has acted as a wonderful mentor to Nathan throughout his coaching career.

“We believe he can be the same to so many other of our young coaches and players within our system.

"He has played and managed at the top level, and you only have to look at the careers that some of his former proteges have gone on to have to know that his experience and knowledge will only be beneficial to developing our stars of the future.”