Next Brighton manager: Big shift as 31-year-old boss makes Tony Bloom's shortlist amid Graham Potter and Steve Cooper stand-off

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All the latest on Brighton and Hove Albion and their search for Roberto De Zerbi’s successor

Brighton can often throw in a few curve balls when it comes to managerial appointments. Few saw Graham Potter arriving after the club parted company with Chris Hughton in 2019 and then Roberto De Zerbi was a relative unknown as the Italian came after Potter left for Chelsea in 2022.

It’s now been more than three weeks since Albion fans bid farewell to the popular De Zerbi on the final day of last season and the search for a new man at the helm continues.

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Potter, who has been out of work since his sacking from Chelsea, has been the favourite for a return but his potential appointment would divide opinion among fans. Ex-Nottingham Forest man Steve Cooper is also a leading contender, while Malmo boss Henrik Rydström remains third favourite with the bookmakers.

Fabian Huerzeler, Head Coach of FC St. Pauli, has been linked with BrightonFabian Huerzeler, Head Coach of FC St. Pauli, has been linked with Brighton
Fabian Huerzeler, Head Coach of FC St. Pauli, has been linked with Brighton

Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna was the favoured replacement, but he ruled himself out last month as he agreed a fresh contract with the newly-promoted Tractor Boys.

There does however seem to be another candidate in the race and it’s another relative unknown in 31-year-old Fabian Hurzeler. The FC St Pauli manager is the youngest coach in European football and last season guided the German club to promotion as champions of Bundesliga 2.

Hürzeler was born in Houston, Texas, to a Swiss father and a German mother and was previously the assistant manager of the Germany U20s and Germany U18s.

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In 2020 the former Bayern Munich youth player was named as the assistant at FC St. Pauli, working alongside head coach Timo Schultz and took full charge in December 2022 after Schultz was dismissed.

Hurzeler’s 10 wins in a row pulled St. Pauli away from the drop zone and close to the promotion. The upward trajectory continued the following season as they gained promotion to the Bundesliga as champions.

His former Bayern Munich II teammate and ex-Liverpool midfielder Enre Can predicted, “a great career as a coach."

Hurzeler also played as defensive midfielder for 1899 Hoffenheim II and 1860 Munich II but ended his playing career, aged 23, and started preparing for life as a coach. Doesn’t get more curve ball than that.

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