Dan Ashworth has been confirmed as the Football Association’s new Director of Elite Development.
The 41-year old will follow Roy Hodgson into the England camp from West Bromwich Albion where he has spent eight years, most recently as Sporting and Technical Director – a role he has held since July 2008.
Ashworth is expected to take up the post, based at St George’s Park, the FA’s new national football centre, at the end of the current season.
“Working within the national set-up has always been a life-long ambition,” said Ashworth.
“To do so at a time when the future of the game in this country has never looked brighter, through the completion of St George’s Park and the Youth Development proposals, is an exciting challenge which I look forward to taking on.”
The FA had advertised for a Technical Director but re-drew plans after Gareth Southgate, their former Head of Elite Development, ruled himself out of the running for the role.
The newly created position will see Ashworth work alongside FA Director of Football Development Sir Trevor Brooking to help develop a greater depth of English playing and coaching talent.
His wide-ranging technical role will cover raising standards of coach education to benefit the whole game, delivery of the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) and leading the new women’s elite performance unit.
Ashworth, who holds a UEFA Pro Licence and has a proven track-record in youth development, will not work directly with England’s senior or Under-21 sides, but will work alongside Brooking and national coaches to improve England’s elite players at Under-16 to Under-20 level.
“We are currently enjoying a hugely exciting and important time for football in this country, from the recently approved Youth Development proposals to the completion of the National Football Centre at St George’s Park,” said Brooking.
“I am really looking forward to working with Dan, who will play a crucial role as we continue to develop and deliver The FA’s technical development programme and raise standards of coaching.”
FA General Secretary Alex Horne echoed Brooking’s thoughts.
“We are delighted to welcome Dan to The FA and offer our thanks to West Bromwich Albion for their courtesy throughout this appointment process,” Horne said.
“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.”