Monday 17 September 2012
West Bromwich Albion Sporting & Technical Director Dan Ashworth has been named as The Football Association’s new Director of Elite Development.
The 41-year-old, who has been with the Baggies since 2004, will be based at the new National Football Centre at St George’s Park when he takes up the role next summer.
"Dan has worked tirelessly for this Club over the past eight years," West Bromwich Albion Chairman Jeremy Peace told the club's official website. "The Sporting & Technical Director post is a position we firmly believed was vital to the success of this football club and Dan has helped to shape this role.
"He has overseen the appointment of three head coaches and the continuation of the club’s traditional playing philosophy.
"Working within the national set-up has always been a life-long ambition"
"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, who has a UEFA Pro Licence, joined West Brom from Cambridge United eight years ago to work with Aidy Boothroyd, the then Centre of Excellence Manager.
He took over the running of Albion's youth set-up three months later when Boothroyd left for Leeds United and successfully oversaw the transition to Academy status for the start of the 2005/06 campaign.
Ashworth become West Brom's permanent Sporting & Technical Director in 2008 as responsible for the first team, scouting & recruitment, medical & sports science and Academy departments.
His role at The FA will include helping to implement the Premier League's Elite Player Performance Plan, which has been introduced this year and is designed to produce more and better quality home-grown players and to be the world leader in youth development.
"I am really pleased and indeed honoured to have been offered the opportunity to join The FA," he told TheFA.com. "Working within the national set-up has always been a life-long ambition.
"The fact both Roy and Dan have been chosen by The FA reflects well on West Bromwich Albion"
"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."
Ashworth is the second West Brom official to move to The FA this year, after Roy Hodgson's appointment as England manager in May.
"Although you never wish to lose such excellent colleagues, 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," said Peace.
"Dan has laid a solid foundation for the Sporting & Technical Director position and will now play his part in identifying the right person to continue his good work."
The FA said it was "delighted" to have secured the services of the former Norwich City full-back.
FA General Secretary Alex Horne said: "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."