Express & Star

Rob Elvins on West Brom 'chance', Bryan Robson and leaving professional football at 23

Former academy prospect Rob Elvins has opened up on how he believed a chance was coming to break into Albion's first-team.

Rob Elvins during a West Brom pre-season camp in Scotland

Elvins, who is now 36 and has retired from the semi-professional game in which he enjoyed a stellar career, progressed through the Baggies youth set-up in the early 2000s.

A centre-forward in his youth days, Alvechurch-born Elvins was a regular feature for Albion Reserves and was even named Baggies young player of the season in 2005.

He revealed training with the senior side under boss Bryan Robson, assistant Nigel Pearson and academy and later reserve boss Craig Shakespeare.

Elvins was well thought of at The Hawthorns and a regular in first-team training having been offered a professional contract aged 17. He was often called on to travel with the senior team for away travel in the top flight, alongside the likes of Rob Earnshaw, Geoff Horsfield and Kanu.

He told the Express & Star's Baggies Broadcast: "I travelled with the team a lot and was classed as like the 17th man, and I became a bit frustrated but looking back I should have just accepted where I was.