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Tunisia’s Jaidi ‘hungry’ to coach in the Premier League after Southampton academy experience

21:24 BST 02/06/2021
Radhi Jaidi Southampton U-23
The former Tunisia international is hoping to get an opportunity to prove his skills in the English top-flight after several experiences

Former Southampton Academy coach Radhi Jaidi said he is hungry to achieve his dream of coaching in the Premier League.

The 45-year-old played for the Saints between 2009 and 2012 before taking up a coaching role in the youth team five years later.

After two years with Southampton U23s, Jaidi moved on to the United Soccer League where he was named as Hartford Athletic head coach in November 2019.

The Tunisia legend was later appointed as an assistant coach at Cercle Brugge in February 2021 and he helped the Green and Black maintain their Belgian First Division A status after they finished 16th in the 18-team league.

With the experiences gathered in the last few years, Jaidi believes he can become the first Tunisian and first-ever African-born manager in the English top-flight.

"I notice so many people from former clubs Bolton, Southampton and Birmingham fans, still think I am still playing!” Jaidi told Hampshire Live.

"I am so committed to my coaching that I do not communicate enough outside, to let people know that I am a coach now.

"I was the first Tunisian to play in the Premier League and the first Tunisian to win a trophy as a coach in England.

“I am very hungry to achieve more, I want to be one of the first Tunisians to take in a senior team at the top level as a head coach.

"The dream is the Premier League, but there are so many challenges, challenges like unconscious bias and there is so much competition.

"I still believe in my ability as a coach and I've shown so many strong performances since being a coach at Southampton."

Following Circle Brugge’s survival from relegation, Jaidi said he is working to help the Belgian club aim higher in the 2021-22 First Division A season.

“I am happy with the learning, the football, and the quality of some of the talent we have,” he continued.

“Even though I am an assistant coach, I am still heading in the direction that I planned years ago and being an assistant helps me to understand more about myself and that level. It confirms to me, personally, that I am a coach who can step up to the next level.

"I will do my best for Brugge next season, the expectations are high, we've already set big objectives with Monaco to take the club to the next level and we just can't wait to get fans back in the stadium.

"We want to take the team to the top level, to change the perception that we're a relegation club."