Albion appoint Downing in Academy role

Last updated : 10 July 2009 By Iain Bate - Wba-mad Editor

Oldbury born, Keith Downing, 43, has taken over from Michael Appleton after beating off a number of applicants for the vacant Under 18s coach position. 

The former Cheltenham Town manager takes over from new first-team coach Michael Appleton after he joined Roberto Di Matteo’s new coaching set-up.

Downing, a former Notts County, Wolves, Birmingham City, Stoke, Cardiff and Hereford player holds a UEFA A License and beat off a number of candidates for the role.

“I'm delighted Keith's joined us,” Sporting and Technical Director Dan Ashworth said,

"In the short space of time from Michael moving up to first-team coach and us employing Keith, we must have had up to 30 serious applicants for the job.

"They ranged from ex-managers, first-team coaches, youth-team coaches and aspiring youth-team coaches - it is a really sought-after job.

"I've known Keith for a while and he's someone I've always wanted to bring into the club.

"He's got a terrific work ethic.

"He's very, very knowledgeable and has worked at every level of the game - youths, reserves, first-team coaching and first-team management.

"We have the best crop of young players we've ever had at the club and we feel they perhaps just need that bit of polishing.

"Someone with the experience of Keith, who knows what it takes as a player and a coach to get in and around the first-team and deal with the hustle and bustle of lower leagues, will help the youngsters.

"We send players out on loan to lower league clubs as part of their education and Keith will play an invaluable part in that.

"He is highly-qualified, is from the local area and ticks all the boxes."