Sammy Lee and Antti Niemi join Brighton and Hove Albion’s coaching staff

Posted On 27 Jun 2014 at 2:21 pm

Sammy Lee and Antti Niemi have joined Brighton and Hove Albion’s coaching staff.

The pair are the first appointments made by new Albion manager Sami Hyypia.

They will work alongside first-team coach Nathan Jones and strength and conditioning coach Thomas Barnden, who steps up from his position at the club’s academy.

The coaching team are due to start work on Monday (30 June) at the club’s new £29 million training ground in Lancing.

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Hyypia said: “I am delighted Sammy and Antti have accepted our offer and I am very pleased to welcome them to the club.

“Together with Nathan and Tom, they will form our first team coaching group.

Sami Hyypia

Sami Hyypia

“I know both Sammy and Antti well, having been at Liverpool when Sammy was assistant manager, and I played alongside Antti for the Finnish national team.

“They are two great characters and will bring a great deal to the club, to the players and to me personally as manager.

“Sammy’s and Antti’s coaching credentials are first rate and they complement Nathan’s coaching abilities and Tom’s experience and knowledge of the physical preparation necessary for players.

“I’m looking forward to working with all four coaches.

“Sammy has played and coached at the top level of football domestically and with England.

“Antti has played in the English and Scottish Premier Leagues, so he knows British football very well.

“Since he retired from playing, he has coached in Finland and also with the national team.”

Lee joins Albion from Bolton Wanderers, where he was head of the club’s academy.

He was assistant manager to Gerard Houllier at Liverpool, during Hyypia’s time at Anfield, a role that he combined with one as coach for the England senior team under Sven Goran Eriksson. He previously coached the England under-21 team.

He went full-time with England in 2004 before joining Bolton in 2005 while continuing as part of Eriksson’s England coaching team.

Lee had a brief spell as manager of Bolton before returning to Liverpool as assistant to Rafael Benitez.

In 2012 he joined Bolton for a third time as head of academy coaching.

Niemi is the goalkeeping coach for the Finnish national team and he will continue in that role alongside his new position with Albion.

He won 67 international caps from 1992 to 2007.

He played more than 400 senior club games during his career and had stints at Glasgow Rangers, Hearts, Charlton, Southampton, Fulham and Portsmouth.

Albion said: “The pair will be introduced to the first team squad before starting work next week.

“Albion’s first team players have undergone two days of pre-season testing and will begin pre-season training with Hyypia and his new coaching team on Monday afternoon.”

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