Hayrettin joins Town’s backroom staff
The 43-year-old last season led Grays to the Ryman Division One North title.
This included a fantastic run of 18 consecutive league wins between February 9 and April 27, which broke the 105-year-old Isthmian League record.
Grays lost just four league game all season as they accumulated a club record 102 points from 42 matches.
Hayrettin played under new boss John Still and the pair have known each other for many years.
Still said: “Hakan used to play for me and has recently been managing at Grays.
“He’s a great lad and is very enthusiastic and in my mind it’s the right time to bring him to Luton Town.
“He’s got a fantastic work ethic and is really ambitious – in fact he wants my job! I have nothing wrong with that, I want ambitious people around me and I’m really looking forward to working with him.”
Hayrettin was born of Turkish Cypriot parents and started his career at Leyton Orient and also played for the likes of Barnet, Torquay United, Wycombe Wanderers, Cambridge United, Doncaster Rovers and Peterborough United.
The 43-year-old started his coaching career at youth level with rivals Watford and has also bossed Waltham Forest and Thurrock.
However, reports in Grays indicated that he had hoped to stay on as manager of the Gravelmen before recently returning form his holiday.
He was quoted as saying: “I would like to stay and build on what we have achieved and the supporters of Grays are fantastic.
“However there clearly are some issues at Grays and it is disappointing that no one at the club has spoken with me.
“However, at this time, as far as I am concerned I am still the manager at Grays and I am planning for the new season and I hope that the bulk of the players from last season will be back.
“I have been offered a full time coaching position, which is very attractive and it would be good to make football my full time occupation again, but managing a club like Grays is a big attraction in its own right and if the club want me to carry on I have to say that it would be very difficult to move on, whatever the offer elsewhere.
“I am working on the expectation that I will be here, but clearly when I return from my visit to Cyprus where I have to deal with the affairs of my late father, I am sure things will be clearer.”
Hayrettin joins assistant manager Terry Harris and fitness coach Dave Richardson as part Still’s backroom staff following yesterday’s departures of coaches Alan Neilson and Dmitri Kharine.
A Grays statement added: “Hakan Hayrettin has notified the club that he is leaving his position as manager to take up an Assistant Manager’s position with Luton Town.
“The club wish to thank Hakan for his efforts and achievements during his two years at Grays Athletic.
“Assistant Manager Ryan Kirby coach Steve Kirby and club captain Lee Flynn have been placed in charge whilst the board consider the situation this leaves us in. There are no plans at this stage to seek an appointment from outside the club.”