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Dan Ashworth has been released from his West Bromwich Albion contract to start work early as the Football Association's director of elite development.

West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace has agreed to cut short Ashworth's 12-month notice period at The Hawthorns, which was scheduled to run until the end of the season.

Ashworth will now be free to start work at St George's Park on Monday, but will still work for the Baggies one day each week on a consultancy basis until the summer.

Peace said: "Dan has worked tirelessly for this football club for the past nine years and leaves with our best wishes.

"He has remained fully committed to his club responsibilities since it was announced last September he would be leaving, for which I would like to thank him."

Ashworth's consultancy role until the end of the season is designed to ensure the handover of duties to Richard Garlick, who was appointed as sporting and technical director (designate) in January, continues to run smoothly.

"The handover process with Richard has gone extremely well, which has enabled us to agree to an early departure date with the FA for Dan, and we now look forward to Richard building on the solid foundations laid by Dan," said Peace.

Ashworth is excited at the prospect of working for The FA and believes he can be proud of the achievements during his nine-year spell at the Hawthorns.

"I have had nine fantastic years here and I just want to say a big thank you to everyone connected with the football club - the staff, players and supporters," said Ashworth.

"As with any football-related job, there have been some lows but we have managed to bounce back from them all and there have undoubtedly been far more highs.

"I would like to say a special thank you to the chairman and board for giving me the initial opportunity to join the youth set-up in 2004, for my promotion to the sporting and technical director post and for allowing me to take up my duties with the FA as soon as possible.

"With the January transfer window now closed, the team having already amassed 40 points and Richard very much hands on in his new role, we all agreed this would be an appropriate time for me to move on, although I will continue to help the club in any way possible in my consultancy capacity."


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