Former Huddersfield Town striker Jon Stead is back in the United States to continue his coaching career.

Stead had a taste of life in the States last year with a spell at Hartford Athletic in Connecticut. When that came to an end the 38-year-old moved on to Tampa Bay Rowdies. He is looking to stay at the club for two years and intends to move his family out there too. 

The 6ft 3in striker had two spells at Town as a player, playing for the Terriers between 2002-04 and 2013-15 making over 100 appearances for his boyhood club. 

Stead retired in 2021 after a 700-game playing career which saw him hang up his boots at League Two side Harrogate Town.

On his move to the US Jon said: “I am extremely excited and can’t wait to get my visa finalised and get a date to move out, hopefully that will be sooner rather than later. It’s a massive club and another step up in my development.

“It will be warm all year there and that brings its own adaptations around training schedules and match days. The day to day role will be similar but I’m very interested to be working with another head coach and learning as much as I can while supporting them and the team.

“I am looking at this as a long-term project and I will be there for more than two years hopefully.

“We are moving out there as a family which was very important this time. My last experience was on my own and I knew that to go again I would need my family with me. It’s a great adventure for us all and my children will love it I’m sure.”

Jon Stead – 700 up

On what he wants to achieve out there Stead said: “To win the whole lot! Tampa won the Eastern Conference last season and fell at the last hurdle when they lost to Orange County, the Western Conference champions. So we definitely want to go one better this season.”

Stead will be working under Tampa head coach Neil Collins and they will have to get to know eachother very quickly. 

“I was with Neil for a few months at Sunderland,” said Stead. “We don’t know each other very well but we certainly know how committed and driven we both are.

“I think we will compliment each other well and we were at different ends of the pitch in our playing days so that helps too in terms of different points of view and experiences.”

READ MORE: How Neil Warnock sent Jon Stead a special message on his retirement as a player

Speaking to the Tampa club website Collins said: “There’s always so many factors when you’re considering staff. 

“I think with Jon, first and foremost was the fact that he showed the willingness to come out here last year and start his coaching career in the USL.

“To come out on his own without his family and just grasp that opportunity certainly grabbed my attention. I spoke to him when we played Hartford and saw the passion he was developing for coaching.

“I think some players know they want to be coaches and some players think they might but when they do it they find they might not. I think Jon is one of those who has prepared himself for coaching and now that he’s in it is really enjoying it and he’s passionate to do it more. So he’s ticked a lot of the boxes.

“As you can imagine, there’s been so many candidates that are good coaches that we obviously considered, but I think with Jon, he also knows me and my personality, and I know Jon’s, and it’s different to mine.

“For me, that’s the single most important thing about that particular assistant role; having someone that knows what I’m like and can compliment that with different things. I think Jon will do that.”