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West Brom set to lose Ashworth to FA

West Bromwich Albion are bracing themselves for the loss of their sporting and technical director Dan Ashworth to the Football Association this week.

• Gera relief for West Brom

The club are expecting an official announcement from the FA to confirm Ashworth is taking up a new role at St George's Park.

According to reports, he is close to agreeing a position within the new set-up, but it is unlikely to be as technical director.

The position will offer the chance to shape the future of English football through the development of coaches as well as players and his brief may also include sports science and women's football.

Ashworth has held his role at the Hawthorns since 2007 and Albion were willing to offer him a significant increase on his £200,000-a-year salary.

But it appears Albion chairman Jeremy Peace has resigned himself to losing Ashworth, who will now play a key role in identifying his successor.

Ashworth wants to assist in finding his successor to ensure the high standards he has set during his five-year stay do not slip.

Albion manager Steve Clarke is well aware of those high standards and realises just how important he has been to the club.

"As far as my relationship with Dan goes, it has worked really well," he said recently. "Everybody knows the good work that Dan does here. He takes a lot of pressure off my shoulders and has made this job a lot easier for me to settle into."

It is understood that Albion have placed no time frame on making a new appointment to fill the void left by Ashworth's impending departure.

With the transfer window closed there is no immediate pressure on the recruitment department but the club will want to act fast and not get left behind in the search for future global stars.

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