DEAN SMITH has landed his dream job as Aston Villa boss – the club he supported as a boy.
Smith, 47, quit Brentford to take up the reins with Chelsea legend John Terry arriving as his No.2.
It’s been a tortuous wait for Smith to finally get the nod with the Championship club being knocked back by Thierry Henry, who was the first choice of the new owners.
Rui Faria, Jose Mourinho’s old assistant, also turned down an approach to replace Steve Bruce – leading Villa to Smith.
Smith, a self-confessed Aston Villa fan, has worked wonders on a shoestring budget at Brentford.
West Bromwich-born Smith takes over a club 15th in the table after a poor run which saw Bruce axed last week.
But they are but also just four points off the play-off places and will be a popular appointment with the fans.
Villa chief executive Christian Purslow led the interview process and Smith’s appointment has the full backing of owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens.
A compensation package believed to be in the region of £350,000 Smith was agreed with Brentford.
Purslow said: “Dean has a clear and successful coaching philosophy as well as a real understanding of Aston Villa Football Club. He is also knowledgeable about the Championship.
“John is one of the most decorated players in English football, has an affinity with the club and is ready to make the next step in his career working alongside Dean.”
Terry, who was Villa’s captain last season but retired on Sunday, says he can’t wait to take his first steps in learning how to become a top boss.
He said: “It’s an ambition of mine and has been for a long time. I have ambitions and aspirations to go and be a coach or a manager in the long run.
“I am ready for the next chapter in my life and hopefully it bring at least half the success I had as a player.
“I’m excited. You’re a long time retired and I am ready for the next step – whatever that may be.”
Villa have also appointed Jesus Garcia Pitarch as their new sporting director as part of sweeping changes.