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West Brom's Ashworth takes FA role

Dan Ashworth has been confirmed as the Football Association's new director of elite development.

• Evans: Dan's departure a blow

Ashworth, 41, has been West Bromwich Albion's sporting and technical director since July 2008 and will succeed Gareth Southgate, who stepped down in July, in the FA role.

He will remain at the Hawthorns until the end of the season and will then begin work at the FA's new national football centre at St George's Park.

Ashworth will help to appoint his successor at the Baggies, whom he leaves despite chairman Jeremy Peace's best efforts to persuade him to stay.

"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," Peace said.

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

West Brom granted Ashworth permission to talk to the FA after he expressed a desire to explore the opportunity following an official approach ten days ago, and he said: "I'm really pleased and honoured to have been offered the opportunity to join the FA. Working with the national set-up has been a lifelong ambition.

"I am joining at a time when the future of the game in this country has never looked brighter, through the completion of St George's, and the youth development proposals are an exciting challenge which I look forward to taking on."

The 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.''

West Brom chief Peace paid tribute to Ashworth's work at the club, saying: "Dan has worked tirelessly for this club over the past eight years.

"The sporting and 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.

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

Peace said Ashworth "has reassured me he will continue to give his West Bromwich Albion duties his undivided attention".

He added: "Although you never wish to lose such excellent colleagues, I think the fact both Roy [Hodgson] 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."


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