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Football: Irvine appointed West Brom head coach

Everton academy manager Alan Irvine has agreed a 12-month rolling contract to become West Brom's new head coach, the Premier League club announced on Saturday.

LONDON: Everton academy manager Alan Irvine has agreed a 12-month rolling contract to become West Brom's new head coach, the Premier League club announced on Saturday.

The 55-year-old Scot replaces Spaniard Pepe Mel who was sacked after Albion narrowly avoided relegation from the English top-flight last season.

"Irvine will complete his move to The Hawthorns once he has officially signed off from his current role at Everton's academy," Albion announced.

Irvine, whose previous managerial experience came at Preston North End and Sheffield Wednesday, will bring Rob Kelly to work as joint-assistant head coach alongside Keith Downing and goalkeeping coach Dean Kiely.

Albion technical director Terry Burton told the club's official website: "I'm delighted we have been able to secure the services of Alan and Rob.

"With the support of Keith and Dean, we firmly believe we have put in place the right coaching team to move the club forward."

The Glaswegian was sacked at both Preston and Wednesday, who were relegated to League One under his tenure.

But Irvine has played a prominent role at Everton, helping to bring players like Ross Barkley and Jack Rodwell to the senior team, and was preferred to ex-Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood, sacked by Spurs at the end of the season, who was also in talks with West Brom.

"From the outset, we decided to pursue candidates who are renowned for their coaching ability and Alan was very much at the forefront of our thoughts because of his achievements in the Premier League and the high regard in which he is held within the game," said Burton.

"In the end it came down to two outstanding candidates for the role.

"But, following a detailed recruitment process, we decided Alan and the team around him are best suited to tackle the challenges we face in the Barclays Premier League.

"He has a vast knowledge from grassroots up thanks to the roles he has performed during his decades in the game and knows what it takes through good and testing times."

The former Queen's Park, Blackburn Rovers, Everton and Crystal Palace winger arrives at The Hawthorns five years after missing out narrowly to Roberto Di Matteo in a previous race for the job.

Mel left after a little more than five months with the club just missing the drop.

Former Birmingham and Norwich boss Chris Hughton and ex-West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola had also been touted as his possible successor.

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