The Football Association has announced its latest major hire for St George’s Park, West Bromwich Albion’s Sporting and Technical Director Dan Ashworth. He moves to the National Football Centre after eight years at the Hawthorns to become Gareth Southgate’s replacement under a tweaked title: Director of Elite Development.
From the FA’s statement (linked above):
“Ashworth, who holds a UEFA Pro Licence, has a proven track-record in youth development as well as extensive experience of coaching elite players within the professional game.”
He will be working with Trevor Brooking, the Director of Football Development, and has big shoes to fill. In his short time with the FA, Southgate seemed to be making headway with regards to the reform of youth football, in which positive changes are being made and the education put in place to supplement them.
I’d be lying if I said I was intimately familiar with Ashworth’s work to date but it is clear from FA General Secretary Alex Horne’s comments that he, Adrian Bevington and Brooking are excited to have him on board.
More encouragingly, the Albion fans I’ve spoken to or seen comments from in the 24-and-some hours since the FA announced Ashworth’s appointment have been thoroughly positive about the job he did at the club and his suitability for a role of this magnitude.
As far as I can tell, there has been no further word from the FA about the possible addition of a Technical Director.