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By ESPN Staff

Alan Irvine returns to Everton

Former Everton assistant manager Alan Irvine has returned for a third spell with the club as head of the academy.

The Scot left Goodison Park in 2007 to take over as manager of Preston and then moved on to Sheffield Wednesday before his sacking in February.

Irvine, a winger with the Toffees in the 1980s, succeeds Ray Hall, who has retired from the position but will continue to work for Everton as an international ambassador.

Everton boss David Moyes, who brought in Irvine as his assistant in 2002, said: ''I am delighted that someone of the calibre of Alan Irvine has agreed to rejoin the club. Once we knew Alan was available it made sense to bring him in as soon as possible and make the change quicker than expected.

''Ray has done a terrific job during his time with the Academy and we are delighted that he has agreed to play an active part in the handover and that he will remain an important part of the set-up for a further three years.''

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