Introducing our new head of sports science
It’s not just on the field we’ve got new faces to introduce to the Kenilworth Road faithful, it’s off the pitch too.
But one new member of the backroom staff who’ll be having a direct impact on the fitness of the team when they step across the white line is Jared Roberts-Smith, who has joined the Hatters as head of sports science.
The Essex-based 26-year-old has arrived from Charlton Athletic, where he first worked alongside manager Nathan Jones in 2012-13 when, as senior professional development coach, the Hatters boss steered the Addicks’ Under-21s to success in every competition they entered, including being crowned national Professional Development League 2 champions.
Jared spent five seasons at The Valley after initially joining as an intern following his graduation from the University of Brighton.
He swiftly progressed to be head of sports science for the south-east London club’s academy, and was promoted to the same role for the entire Championship club in March this year – before his old colleague came calling to lure him to Bedfordshire following their relegation to League One.
“I’ll probably get a bit of stick from the guys in the office, but it was the gaffer who sold it to me – I worked with him at Charlton and he’s a top guy,” said Jared.
“I get on well with him on a personal and professional level, so when he came calling, it was a bit of a no-brainer for me given our success at Charlton, and we aim to replicate that here.
“I worked with Paul Hart at Charlton as well, and Kevin Nugent, Kevin Dearden, Mick Harford and the physio, Simon Parsell, have been quality with me. It’s a really good group of staff, and the gaffer mentioned that when he proposed it to me.
“So with a good group of staff like that and a good group of players, where the club’s looking to go, it was a no-brainer to come here.
“I’m really happy to be here and have settled in well, so I’m really looking forward to continuing the good work we’ve been doing.”
Jared was quickly into his stride during the first week of pre-season training, leading the players’ warm-up exercises and fitness tests as they found their feet back on the training ground at Ely Way.
Speaking to lutontown.co.uk on Friday afternoon, he continued: “I’ve settled in really well. Everyone’s been really welcoming from the staff to the boys. It’s been a really enjoyable first week – up there with one of the best first weeks of pre-season, so I’m really happy with it.
“We’re looking forward to the week in Hungary now. One of the benefits of going away for pre-season is to build that team ethos and create a good environment for the lads, but I’ve got to say, they’ve been spot on this week at home.
“Their attitude and application towards everything has been superb. We have to drive that as a staff, and the gaffer does too, but as a whole the boys have been first class and it’s good to work with them. Hopefully we’ll build on that in Hungary and improve it even further.”
Always looking to better himself and learn more about his profession, Jared is currently studying for a Masters in strength and conditioning at St Mary’s University in Twickenham.
The next lesson he is looking forward to from a football point of view, however, is his first home game at Kenilworth Road.
“When I spoke to the gaffer about coming here, he mentioned the new stadium plans, which look unreal,” he added. “It’ll be top drawer and we’ll be pushing up there with the elite in a few years, hopefully.
“But the club’s already got a great fanbase and I’m looking forward to my first game at Kenilworth Road. The Aston Villa game in the EFL Cup will be a great way to start the season here.
“Everything about the club seems really positive and it all adds to the whole package of being here.”