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Soccer-West Brom appoint Irvine after Sherwood says no

Reuters

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June 14 (Reuters) - West Bromwich Albion appointed Alan Irvine as manager on Saturday, replacing Spaniard Pepe Mel who left the English Premier League club last month.

Irvine, who has never managed in the top-flight, agreed a one-year contract and will work alongside Rob Kelly and Keith Downing while Dean Kiely is to remain as goalkeeping coach.

West Brom named the 55-year-old Scot, who had been in charge of Everton's academy for young players since 2011, after former Tottenham Hotspur manager Tim Sherwood turned down the chance to take over.

"I'm delighted we have been able to secure the services of Alan and Rob," Albion technical director Terry Burton told the club website (www.wba.co.uk).

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

"In the end it came down to two outstanding candidates for the role. But, following a detailed recruitment process, we decided on Alan and the team around him are best suited to tackle the challenges we face in the Premier League."

West Brom narrowly escaped relegation this season with a 17th-placed finish and Irvine's reputation for developing young talent, including that of England and Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, played a big part in his appointment at The Hawthorns.

"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 with which he is held within the game," Burton added.

"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."

A winger by trade, Irvine enjoyed a 15-year playing career and represented Queen's Park in Scotland before enjoying spells with Everton, Crystal Palace, Dundee United and Blackburn Rovers.

He retired from playing in 1992 and since then has had coaching roles with Newcastle United, Blackburn, Preston North End and Sheffield Wednesday.

Irvine had a stint as David Moyes's assistant at Everton during which time they finished three out of five seasons in the top seven. (Reporting by Tim Collings and Michael Hann, editing by Pritha Sarkar and Tony Jimenez)

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