The former Rangers, Everton and Scotland player steps up from his original role of pathway development manager, which saw him specifically overseeing the club’s players who are on loan at other clubs.

Technical director Dan Ashworth said, “We are delighted that David has accepted this new role and it expands on the already excellent work he has done as pathway development manager. The assistant technical director will be exactly that, supporting me on a day-to-day basis at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre.

“Since I came to the club the brief and workload for the technical director role has expanded to include the women’s and girls football operations and analysis across both the men’s and women’s set up. We have also expanded what we are doing in terms of player welfare and psychology during the past 18 months.

“We have also seen additional workload due to various external factors such as Brexit and the new Governing Body Endorsement procedure, and even the effect of the pandemic on the Premier League’s evolving policies and procedures.

“David’s football knowledge and experience is exceptional and to have his help, expertise and experience on a day-to-day basis will be a great benefit for the club.”

Deputy chairman and chief executive Paul Barber added, “David had a stellar playing career, both for clubs and country, and was a leader on the pitch. He’s also shown those qualities off the pitch in his time at the club.

“He brings a wealth of football knowledge and experience from his playing career as well as management and coaching roles at Sheffield United, Brentford and Nottingham Forest.

“He has a superb set of coaching and academic credentials with his university degree, full set of coaching badges and a recent Masters in sport directorship from Manchester Metropolitan University.

“We’ve seen that first hand over the past three and a half years working in his role as pathway development manager, and we’ve also seen how well connected and respected David is within the game.

“Those qualities and David’s approach dovetail with the club’s culture and values so we are delighted that he’s accepted this new role and feel he has a significant part to play in shaping the future and helping us achieve our stated vision of regularly competing at top-ten level in the Premier League.”

David’s football career began with a football scholarship in the US at the University of Evansville, playing for their Purple Aces soccer team. After four years in North America he graduated, ranked second in the university’s history with 129 career points, and to this day remains one of the most successful Evansville alumni ever.

On his return to the UK, he enjoyed an illustrious playing career north and south of the border, serving Falkirk, Hearts, Everton and Rangers with distinction — winning every domestic honour in Scotland including three Scottish titles with Rangers and helping Everton to their best-ever Premier League finish in 2005.

He also won 69 caps for Scotland and captained his country and played in the Champions League for both Everton and Rangers. In 2010 at the age of 39 he won both Scottish Premier League Player of the Year and Scottish Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year.

His coaching pathway began at Everton working with the club’s academy and reserve teams before his first managerial job at Sheffield United; assistant manager’s roles followed with Brentford, Rangers and Nottingham Forest before he joined Albion in April 2018.

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