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FA chief Ashworth pleased with West Brom academy progress

England technical Dan Ashworth is pleased with the progress of West Bromwich Albion's academy.

He admits the last decade has seen a huge upturn in youth development at his former club.

"The club has moved on so far in the last 10 years," he said.

"To be fair to the club they wanted to invest and go to academy status in order to put us on a level with our rivals in the area, like Villa, Wolves and Birmingham, who all had super development programmes and were all established academies.

"It was very much a game of catch-up in the first few years but we were lucky enough to recruit some really good staff, some of whom are still here."

Ashworth continued: "It's very hard to get players into the Premier League now but on Tuesday I bumped into a couple who have made careers in the Championship or League One - Sam Mantom and Ryan Allsop were two that I saw.

"That wasn't happening before but, to be fair to the people in charge of the youth development programme, they didn't have anything to attract players with."

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