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The Aston Villa ‘chain reaction’ impacting West Brom revealed


West Bromwich Albion sporting director Luke Dowling has spoken of the Aston Villa ‘chain reaction’ that has caused so much upheaval this summer.

As well as two high profile departures from the playing staff, in Morgan Rodgers and Louie Barry, Albion bosses have had to contend with a number of coaches leaving the Academy.

Former Academy manager Mark Harrison left the club for local rivals Villa earlier this summer, meaning a number of changes were required.

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West Bromwich Albion technical director Luke Dowling

Harrison would eventually be replaced by Richard Stevens, who will join the club in the coming weeks.

The appointment of Stevens isn’t the first the club have made, though; Boaz Myhill has already taken up roles in the U23 set-up, while former Tottenham man David Kerslake is the academy’s new head of coaching.

Peter Gilbert, meanwhile, has replaced Mike Scott as U18 manager, having previously been Scott’s assistant prior to his exit for Derby County.

This is your round up of all things Albion; the one-stop shop that will keep you updated on the latest goings on at The Hawthorns and beyond.

Transfers, injuries, match-days and managers, we’ve got you covered.

We’ll be bringing the very latest on the Baggies throughout week and around the clock.

Make sure you keep yourself updated with our handy daily catch up…

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Speaking in the Albion’s supporter assembly, Dowling outlined how the changes had affected the culture of the Academy at The Hawthorns.

“Any departures from the Academy had been forced upon the Club.

“Mark Harrison, the former manager, left for Aston Villa causing a chain reaction by taking two staff members with him. U23s coach Jamie Smith had understandably opted to move to Doncaster for a first-team level appointment while Under 18s coach Mike Scott took a promotion at Derby.

“Meanwhile Jimmy Shan had chosen to strike out on his own following his first-team experience at the end of last season.

 

Dowling added: “I am happy with all the staff recruited in their place who he insisted were of a high quality, possessed great Football League experience and had a good knowledge of the Club.

 “Cultural changes were designed to improve the first-team experience at the training ground and drive aspiration within the Academy players.

“Already the changes had seen positive effects and been given widespread support from all staff, including senior Academy personnel.”

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It was believed Albion’s recruitment was complete, but that was thrown in the air after Michael Appleton left his role as U23s manager, only weeks after his appointment, when he was confirmed as Lincoln City boss.

“We are obviously disappointed to be losing a coach of Michael’s calibre so soon after his appointment and having discussed at length our plans for the development of our young players in the future.,” Dowling said.

“But he felt he could not refuse the opportunity to return to League management and we reluctantly accept that.

“We shall be looking to announce a replacement as quickly as possible.”



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