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Darren Moore coming home to West Brom

Sport | Published:

Cult hero Darren Moore is returning to West Bromwich Albion to coach the club's teenage stars.

Cult hero Darren Moore is returning to West Bromwich Albion to coach the club's teenage stars.

The 38-year-old former Baggies defender has been appointed as new professional development coach and will help lead youth coach James Shan run the under-18s team.

The announcement comes just a day after the Baggies confirmed Steve Clarke as their new head coach and they have backed Express & Star columnist Moore to eventually climb the coaching ranks.

Moore's appointment means he has retired as a player, ending a career that has included spells at Torquay, Doncaster, Bradford, Portsmouth, Derby, Barnsley and Burton as well as 116 appearances and two promotions for Albion.

"I'm absolutely delighted to be rejoining the club," he said. "I'm chuffed and I can't wait to get started. It feels like I'm coming home. This is a club that I hold very, very close to my heart.

"I hope that success will continue in a coaching capacity. It's now time for me to use my experience of playing in all four divisions of the English game to help the players I will be working with.

"I've heard so many good things about this group of lads and I want to help push them into the first-team frame."

Moore's appointment is part of the expansion of the Baggies academy to fall into line with the Premier League's new Elite Player Performance Programme (EPPP).

The club will spend around £2.5m this summer creating an outdoor artificial pitch in Halfords Lane and turning the current Albion Foundation building into a base for young players. Sporting and technical director Dan Ashworth said: "As a former player and club legend, we thought we'd tap into Darren's vast experience. He knows the area and the club inside out and has a lot to offer our up-and-coming players.

"He's embarking on what we firmly believe will be a successful coaching and managerial career. The great thing is that many of the guys who have previously filled this role – Craig Shakespeare, Michael Appleton, Keith Downing – have gone on to become first-team or senior coaches and managers in their own right."

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