Tuesday 17 October 2017

Curbishley and Dempsey boost Fulham

Clint Dempsey
Clint Dempsey

Press Association

Alan Curbishley has been appointed first-team technical director at Fulham as he returns to club football more than five years after leaving West Ham.

The announcement came just hours after the Premier League club revealed United States captain Clint Dempsey was returning on a two-month loan from Seattle Sounders.

It has been a time of change recently at Craven Cottage with former manager Martin Jol sacked on December 1 to be immediately replaced by Rene Meulensteen.

Tuesday's arrivals of Curbishley and Dempsey will give the fans hope the club can start to improve on the field as they sit second from bottom at Christmas.

While Dempsey returns from Seattle Sounders in the Major League Soccer off-season, for Curbishley it is his first role at a club since leaving the Hammers in September 2008, despite being linked with many managerial vacancies.

A statement on Fulham's official website read: "With a wealth of football experience behind him, Alan will work with head coach Rene Meulensteen as the club embarks on the second half of the season, and the important task of securing our Premier League status for a 14th consecutive campaign."

Meulensteen said: "I'm very happy that Alan has joined us as I know his expertise will be invaluable as we enter the remaining months of the season.

"Following Martin (Jol's) departure I discussed with both (club CEO) Alistair Mackintosh and the chairman the challenges we face, and I was delighted that they supported the idea of additional support within the coaching team. Alan has a proven track record in the industry and understands full well what it takes to succeed."

Meulensteen and Curbishley will be able to call on the knowledge and leadership of Dempsey in his second spell in west London on loan from Seattle Sounders.

The 30-year-old signed from New England Revolution in January 2007 and was influential, both domestically and in the Europa League.

Dempsey scored 60 goals in 225 appearances and was voted Fulham's player of the season two years in a row, the last after the 2011/12 season after which he signed for Tottenham in August 2012.

"It feels good to be back," he said. "This has always felt like my home in Europe. I am excited to be back and be a part of this team and play in this league."

Irish Independent

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