Dan Ashworth began his career with Norwich City. He later played
for St Leonards and coached in the USA with the West Florida Fury
before returning to East Anglia to sign for Wisbech
Wisbech's dire financial situation in the autumn of 2000 led to
drastic wage cuts. Dan took this opportunity to leave the Fenman
along with 5 other players (Paul Hill, Ian Pledger, Andy Gleave,
Ricky Hailstone and Matt Carmichael)
Dan was promoted from Education and Welfare Officer to Academy
Director at Peterborough following
the Posh youngsters' poor start to the 2000/01 season. He replaced
Adrian Boothroyd who was demoted to
managing the 8-16 year olds. Dan worked closely with Kit
Carson. In addition, Dan has opted to continue his playing
career by signing for Eastern Counties League side Diss Town
Following Kit Carson's departure from London Road, Dan also left
and joined rivals Cambridge United who ironically appointed Carson
as Head of Youth Development in November 2001.
In February 2004, Dan left Cambridge to assist Adrian
Boothroyd in setting up West Bromwich Albion's Academy. He
was later appointed as Technical Director in December 2007. Ashworth
has four departments for which he is responsible: the first team;
recruitment; the academy; medical and sports science.The logic
is that if the manager goes, the new one is recruited into the
existing framework he does not bring in a whole new team.
That ensures continuity and fosters a club culture. Ashworth is
regarded as one of the best in the business at scouting players
and compiling information on them, including background checks.
He works well witht he manager and acts as a buffer between the
manager and the chairman.
Ashworth was influential in brining many continental stars to
the Hawthorns. People like Pablo Ibanez, the Spanish defender
on a free contract, Gonzalo Jara for a pittance and Youssouf Mulumbu,
a £75,000 DR Congo international that Paris St Germain didn't
give a real chance. The list is also populated by players who
were previously as anonymous as Ashworth himself, while even £4m
on the likes of Peter Odemwingie and Somen Tchoyi hardly counts
as lavish spending even at a club where the budget is notoriously
His reputation has grown and helsea are believed to have noted
Ashworth's work and included his name on their list of potential
candidates to replace the departed Frank Arnesen as technical
director at Stamford Bridge.
He was appointed Director of Elite Development for the English
Football Association in September 2012 and took up the new role
in March 2013.