Club hero 'Big Dave' rejoins Baggies Academy as a coach
ALBION are delighted to announce club hero Darren Moore will re-join the Club as Professional Development Phase Coach on September 1.
The return of the former captain as a coach in the Baggies’ Academy completes a summer reshuffle following the departure of Under-21 Senior Professional Development Phase Coach David Oldfield to MK Dons.
James Shan recently stepped up to replace him, while Aaron Danks was promoted to Under-18 Lead Development Phase Coach as the Academy continues to work under the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP).
Moore left his role as an Under-18s coach to be first-team coach at Blackburn under then-Rovers manager Michael Appleton in January 2013.
And he arrives back at The Hawthorns following a successful spell working with the Professional Footballers Association (PFA).
“We’re delighted Darren is re-joining us,” said Albion Academy Manager Mark Harrison.
“He did a fantastic job the last time he was with us.
“I would like to thank the PFA for their help and support in allowing Darren to come back and join us.
“He will have a real focus on the Under-21s players who go out on loan.
“He’ll manage their loan programmes, liaise with the clubs and visit the players when they play and train.
“Ultimately, for young players that is the final step – it’s unusual now for players to jump straight from our Under-21s to our first team.
“Darren’s wealth of experience as a player and coach in the game and his contacts will no doubt help these players.
“On a day-to-day basis Darren will be coaching with the Under-21s and Under-18s.
“He will also have a very hands-on role assisting and supporting James and Aaron on matchdays when he is not away focusing on the loan players.
“Darren commands respect, he will be a good mentor to the players and brings positivity to whatever he does.”
Moore will forever be remembered by Baggies fans for scoring the opening goal in the promotion-clinching 2-0 win over Crystal Palace in 2002 to end the club’s 16-year wait for a top-flight return.
And ‘Big Dave’ – as he is affectionately known by Albion fans - is thrilled to be ‘back home’.
“I’m grateful to West Brom for inviting me back in – I feel like I’ve come back home,” said Moore.
“I’m a more experienced coach now and know what’s needed to make that transition from youth level to the first team.
“I had other good job offers but I’ve got a lot of passion for the club and it is almost like unfinished business for me.
“When I left as Under-18s coach to go to work with Michael Appleton at first-team level, at Blackburn, it was not an easy decision for me.
“But I feel like I’m a more rounded coach now, coming back into the Elite environment.
“I’m looking forward to challenging a group of players and getting them ready mentally for first-team level.
“It was a real wrench to leave the PFA but it was West Bromwich Albion calling – and they totally understand because of the links with the club.
“I want to thank Gordon Taylor and all the PFA staff.
“They’re a phenomenal organisation and I was overwhelmed by what they are doing in the game of football.
“My doors are wide open for anything I can help them with in the future.
“They will always get my backing and support.
“I can’t wait to fit into the West Bromwich Albion jigsaw again now and hopefully add to what is already a well-oiled machine.
“I can’t wait to get cracking.”
Moore is also relishing the prospect of learning from Albion Head Coach Alan Irvine, who played a part in his formative years as a coach.
“I can’t wait to meet Alan Irvine again and learn from him,” he added.
“He’s somebody who played a part in my coaching career very early doors as a coach educator.
“He is a well-respected man in the game and before I even talk about him in a coaching sense, as a man, he is fantastic – what a gentleman.
“Too see him work first-hand will be a phenomenal experience for me.
“He ticks all the boxes for what a Head Coach needs.”