West Brom's Dan Ashworth appointed director of elite development by FA

 

The Football Association has appointed West Brom's Dan Ashworth as its new director of elite development - but has scrapped plans for a technical director.

The FA had advertised for a technical director earlier in the summer but after Gareth Southgate ruled himself out of contention, it has decided against appointing anyone to that post.

Instead, Ashworth, West Brom's 41-year-old sporting and technical director, will have a different role. He will stay at the club until next summer when he takes up the post at the FA's new national football centre at St George's Park, working alongside director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking.

Southgate stepped down as the FA's head of elite development in July to concentrate on his media career.

Ashworth will not work specifically with the England senior or under-21s teams, but will be tasked with developing the country's elite players.

FA general secretary Alex Horne said: "We are delighted to welcome Dan to the FA and offer our thanks to West Bromwich Albion for their courtesy throughout this appointment process.

"Dan is highly regarded and hugely respected within the game and we believe securing his services at the FA will give the future of English football, from the grassroots to the elite level, a tremendous boost."

Ashworth added: "I am really pleased and indeed honoured to have been offered the opportunity to join the FA.

"Working within the national set-up has always been a lifelong ambition. To do so at a time when the future of the game in this country has never looked brighter, through the completion of St George's Park and the youth development proposals, is an exciting challenge which I look forward to taking on."

West Brom granted Ashworth permission to talk to the FA after he expressed a desire to explore the opportunity following an official approach 10 days ago, according to a club statement.

Club chairman Jeremy Peace said: "Dan has worked tirelessly for this club over the past eight years.

"He has certainly taken on a challenging role within the FA and will leave with our best wishes.

"He has overseen the appointment of three head coaches and the continuation of the club's traditional playing philosophy.

"His contribution has been a key factor in our two most recent promotion successes and the securing of an unprecedented third successive season in the Barclays Premier League.

"We have had discussions with Dan in an effort to persuade him to stay but the opportunity to work within the national set-up is an ambition he has held for a long time."

Ashworth also worked at West Brom with current England manager Roy Hodgson but Peace said the 41-year-old would give the club his "undivided attention" until moving to the FA next year.

"Dan still has an important role to play this season and he and his staff have already begun planning for the January transfer window," said Peace.

"Dan has laid a solid foundation for the sporting and technical director position and will now play his part in identifying the right person to continue his good work.

"Although you never wish to lose such excellent colleagues, I think the fact both Roy and Dan have been chosen by the FA reflects well on West Bromwich Albion and the manner in which we have structured the football club."

Factfile:

1971: Born March 6.

2000: Takes up role of education and welfare officer at Peterborough and is promoted academy director.

2001: Appointed Cambridge United's centre of excellence director.

2004: March - Joins West Brom to assist Adrian Boothroyd in setting up the club's academy.

June - Takes charge of the club's youth set-up when Boothroyd leaves to take up a first-team coaching role at Leeds.

2007: December - Seconded to the role of sporting and technical director at West Brom.

2008: Has his position as sporting and technical director at West Brom made permanent.

2011: Responsible for the appointment of Roy Hodgson as manager as a replacement for Roberto Di Matteo.

2012: September 17 - Appointed as the Football Association's new director of elite development.

PA

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