FORMER Southampton academy coach Kevin Braybrook has been appointed first-team coach of Eastleigh.

He becomes Ian Baird’s third right- hand man of the summer, taking over from ex-Saints defender Paul Williams who has been linked with the head of youth post at Aldershot Town.

Williams lasted just three weeks as a replacement for Matt Gray, who left Eastleigh in May after nearly four years as the Spitfires’ head coach.

Braybrook joined Eastleigh in June as head of recruitment when the Blue Square Bet South club announced plans to introduce full-time football and cast their nets for youngsters released from the pro game.

Welcoming his new coaching job, Braybrook – a former Northern Ireland under-18 player - said: “I am delighted to have been asked by Ian Baird to assist him in coaching the first team.

“I have had recent opportunities to go back into full-time coaching roles at Football League clubs, but the chance to work with and support Bairdy with what I am sure will be an exciting and challenging season was an opportunity I could not turn down.”

Eastleigh’s director of football Dave Malone confirmed: “Kevin will commence his duties when pre-season training starts tomorrow.

“He is a highly qualified and respected coach and a welcome addition to our management team.”

Eastleigh’s pre-season friendly pro gramme begins with a trip to Winchester City on Tuesday (July 5, 7.45pm).

Next Saturday (July 9, 3pm) they host a Reading XI at the Silverlake.

As yet the Spitfires have only seven senior players signed on – Tom Jordan, Jamie Slabber, Danny Smith, Richard Gillespie, Gareth Barfoot, Ross Bottomley and the recently returned Andy Forbes, who has penned a one-year contract.

But Malone assured concerned fans: “Our recruitment of players is gather ing momentum and numerous poten tial signings will participate in our pre-season fixtures during July.”