FORMER Saints conditioning coach James Bunce has been named as the new director of performance at French club AS Monaco.

Bunce, 34, spent seven years working in various roles at Saints between 2007 and 2014, including under-21s strength and conditioning coach and also head of athletic development, before leaving to take a job with the Premier League.

And following a spell working for the US Soccer Federation, Bunce has now made the move to France to work with the Ligue 1 outfit in a newly-created role.

"I am very pleased and excited to join a club that is focused on performance and innovation to keep aligned with its high ambitions and the challenges of modern football," said Bunce.

"My motivation is all the stronger as my arrival comes at a time when the club is equipping itself with an ultra-modern performance centre, which will massively contribute to the department and staff being able to maximise the preparation and performance of all the players within club on a daily basis."

Monaco sporting director Paul Mitchell, who also worked alongside Bunce at Saints during his time as head of recruitment at the club, added: "We are very pleased and excited to welcome someone of James Bunce's pedigree, who has established himself in recent years as a benchmark in the field of high performance.

"Through James's arrival, the aim is to give our organisation the intelligence and provide expertise to grow to challenge the world’s elite in athletic performance.

"We want to provide the necessary conditions to perform on and off the field using the latest technologies and practices in high level sport. All this work will allow us to optimise the sporting and preparation of the players to meet the ever-increasing demands of the game."

During his time at Saints, Mitchell worked with boss Mauricio Pochettino and also helped bring players such as Nathaniel Clyne, Maya Yoshida and Steven Davis to the club.

He followed Pochettino to Tottenham in 2014, before moving onto RB Leipzig and now Monaco.