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Thursday 09 January 2014

West Brom name Pepe Mel their new head coach

Former Real Betis coach succeeds Steve Clarke at The Hawthorns

Pepe Mel had guided Real Betis to seventh in La Liga last season

West Bromwich Albion have announced the appointment of Pepe Mel as their new head coach.

The 50-year-old Spaniard has signed an 18-month deal and succeeds Keith Downing, who had taken charge of the team in a caretaker capacity after Steve Clarke was relieved of his duties last month.

"Mel is a forward-thinking coach whose teams are renowned for playing attractive and positive football"
Richard Garlick

Mel has 14 years’ coaching experience in Spanish football and his previous job was as coach to Real Betis, whom he guided from the second division to to seventh in La Liga last season and qualification for the Europa League. Other clubs he has coached include Tenerife, Alaves and Rayo Vallecano.

The Madrid-born coach will be supported by Downing and Dean Kiely, who will continue in their roles as assistant head coach and goalkeeping coach respectively.

“His appointment concludes an extensive recruitment process during which we have cast the net far and wide to identify the most suitable candidate to take the club forward,” Sporting & Technical Director, Richard Garlick, told the club website. “Pepe was a strong contender from the outset due to his impressive achievements and has emerged as our No 1 candidate.

“He is a forward-thinking coach whose teams are renowned for playing an attractive and positive style of football.”

Downing will remain in charge of the team for Saturday’s Barclays Premier League match away to Southampton while Mel will watch from the stands. Mel’s first game in charge will be the Barclays Premier League match against Everton at The Hawthorns on Monday 20 January.

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Key Points

  • West Brom name Pepe Mel their new head coach
  • 50-year-old Spaniard succeeds Steve Clarke who left the club last month
  • Mel led Real Betis to seventh in La Liga last season and will take charge after Saturday's match against Southampton