Backroom reshuffle complete at West Brom
Albion have appointed Richard Stevens as the club’s new academy manager, completing a series of appointments at youth level.
Last week the Express & Star revealed Stevens topped West Brom’s wish list to fill the post vacated following Mark Harrison’s move to Villa.
Stevens, who has spent the past 12 years working as Coventry’s academy manager, was in competition with Watford coach Chris McGuane to land the role.
But his track record of brining through players with the Sky Blues ensured he was the man technical director Luke Dowling plumped for.
Over the past 12 years, Stevens has helped more than 50 players rise through the youth ranks to feature for Coventry’s first-team.
The Warwickshire-based academy has also helped produce the likes of James Maddison, Callum Wilson and Cyrus Christie – players who have all gone on to represent their country and play in the Premier League.
Stevens’ arrival completes a series of appointments Albion have made at academy level.
Michael Appleton and Boaz Myhill have both returned to the club recently – with Appleton appointed under-23s manager and Myhill goalkeeper development coach.
Former Swindon and Tottenham midfielder David Kerslake has also come in as the club’s new head of coaching.
Meanwhile, Peter Gilbert is now Albion’s under-18s manager, having previously been an assistant at that level.
Dowling, Albion’s sporting and technical director, said: “Richard’s arrival completes the recruitment we have undertaken at academy level.
“I’m delighted with the appointments we have made and believe we have added some tremendous experience as well as coaching expertise.
“Our academy deserves its enviable reputation, but I know Richard and the guys around him will all want to do even better in the years ahead.
“It remains a vital area of the club’s operations. The journey from young player of potential to first-team regular remains the key feature of development and we now have a core of staff in key positions who understand that process.”
Albion’s youth set-up has been a source of immense pride for supporters in recent years due to the sheer number of players it has produced.
Romaine Sawyers, Nathan Ferguson, Rekeem Harper, Sam Field, Kemar Roofe and Tyler Roberts are just some of the stars who have come through the ranks in recent years.