Portsmouth Football Club has today unveiled former Blues defender Jon Harley as assistant head coach to John Mousinho
The 43-year-old returns to Fratton Park after a decade in the development setup at Premier League outfit Chelsea.
Harley departed Pompey in January 2013 after making 26 appearances for the Blues, managed then by Guy Whittingham, who took over from Michael Appleton midway through the campaign.
Sporting director Richard Hughes told club media officials: “We spoke to quite a few people and both John and I were really impressed with Jon.
“His face would light up whenever he talked about Pompey and you can tell he has an affinity for this football club.
“Coupled with his coaching background – where he’s spent 10 years with Chelsea and worked with some of the best talents in the country – he’s going to add value.
“We feel that he can provide excellent support for John and so we’re delighted to have him here. He’ll be a great asset for the club.”
The Maidstone-born coach began his career at Chelsea after graduating from the youth system in 1997 - He went on to make 30 league appearances for the club across 4 seasons before moving on to Fulham in 2001.
Across a 16-year playing career, Jon Harley represented 11 different clubs, including the likes of Sheffield United, Watford and hometown team Maidstone United, retiring at Maidstone in 2013.
Head coach Mousinho added: “Jon had a fantastic playing career and competed at the top, while he’s had 10 years working with Chelsea at the highest level of development football.
“He was the outstanding candidate during the recruitment process and knowing him from my time on the Pro Licence, he’s a great guy who’s going to fit in with what we’re trying to do here.
“Jon is an excellent coach and Chelsea have a great track record of bringing through players to feature in their first team or have good careers elsewhere – he’s had a big role in that.
“That was a big part in coming here because we also want to bring young players in here and help to develop them.
“We wanted to make sure that we got the right person and it takes time to go through the list, but we were thorough and robust because this a crucial appointment.”
Harley, who watched Tuesday's victory over Burton Albion at Fratton Park from the stands, will be in the dugout for the Blues for the first time when they take on Lincoln City at Sincil Bank on Saturday afternoon.
For more reaction to the appointment of Jon Harley as Pompey's new assistant head coach, catch Jake Smith with the next episode of The Football Hour, this Friday (January 17th) from 6pm on 93.7 Express FM, DAB Digital Radio & Online.
Jake will this week be joined alongside Freddie Webb and Ryan Lewis to go through the events of Tuesday night's win over The Brewers, discuss Harley's arrival and preview this weekend's action for both the Portsmouth men and women.