Dan Ashworth: From Norfolk, to the World Cup - and now to Brighton
- Credit: PA
Dan Ashworth – the Norfolk man who played a key role in helping England to the semi-finals of the World Cup - has left the Football Association.
The 47-year-old ends a six-year association with the sport's governing body to become technical director at Brighton - managed by former Norwich City boss Chris Hughton.
Ashworth's departure is a blow for the FA – he is considered by many in the game to have played a key role in England's upturn in results, particularly at age group level and in women's football.
In a statement, Brighton chairman Tony Bloom said: 'There is no doubting Dan's standing within the game, and we are absolutely delighted that he will be joining us.
'Dan's CV speaks for itself, and while his work alongside Gareth Southgate, with England's senior men's team, was well documented last summer during the World Cup, it's also worth highlighting his excellent work and successes across all the England men's, women's and junior teams.'
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Ashworth was on Norwich City's books as a youth team player, although he never appeared for the first team, and also played for Wisbech Town and Diss Town before spells in the youth set-ups at Peterborough and Cambridge.
He moved to West Brom's Academy in 2004 before joining the FA as Director of Elite Development in March 2013.
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Ashworth, who will start at Brighton in the spring, will oversee the club's Lancing-based academy and medical departments, and be responsible for player recruitment and development at all levels.
On his watch at the FA, England claimed the Under-17 and Under-20 World Cups, the Under-19s became European champions and the prestigious Toulon Tournament has been won three years in a row.
The women's side have also reached the semi-finals of the World Cup and Euros, reaching a high of second in Fifa's rankings earlier this year.
The only false step was his appointment and subsequent backing of former England women's manager Mark Sampson, who was fired last year when it emerged he had behaved inappropriately in his previous job and should not have been hired in the first place.