Faithful second in command Steve Clarke delighted to take charge at West Brom
NEW West Brom head coach Steve Clarke is delighted to have finally fulfilled his ambition to be his own boss after more than a decade serving under others.
The 48-year-old Scot has signed a two-year deal at the Hawthorns to take over from England manager Roy Hodgson.
Having begun his coaching career in 1998 and worked at Chelsea, Newcastle, West Ham and most recently Liverpool, he has now got the chance to showcase his abilities in charge of a team for the first time.
"I'm absolutely delighted to be given this opportunity," Clarke told wba.co.uk.
"Becoming a head coach in my own right has always been an ambition of mine and I feel I have served my apprenticeship.
"I've done everything I could as an assistant.
"I'm delighted West Bromwich Albion have given me the chance to make that progression and I'm determined to make the most of it."
Clarke's departure from Liverpool was only confirmed on Wednesday, although he had offered his resignation last month when Kenny Dalglish was sacked.
But having also worked under the likes of Jose Mourinho and the late Sir Bobby Robson - contributing to winning two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and three League Cup triumphs - West Brom believe he has what it takes to be a manager in his own right.
"We firmly believe we have appointed the right man to keep the club moving forward," said sporting and technical director Dan Ashworth.
"After Roy was appointed as England manager, we cast the net far and wide to identify the most suitable candidate to fill his shoes.
"From the outset, we decided to pursue candidates who are renowned for their coaching ability and Steve was very much at the forefront of our thoughts because of the clubs he has worked at and the high regard he is held in within the game.
"After holding talks with Steve, he emerged as the outstanding candidate.
"Steve has worked alongside and learned from some top managers and, most importantly, he knows the Premier League inside-out and what it takes to succeed at this level.
"He is a talented British coach who has served his time in the trenches as a number two in order to get an opportunity to be in sole charge of a team - and we are delighted to give him that chance.
"Steve has a real hunger and drive to succeed as a number one and is excited about the ongoing project we have at the club.
"We also have a structure in place that will hopefully give Steve the support he needs to carry on the success we have enjoyed over the past three seasons."