Club News

Pulis agrees contract extension

ALBION have agreed a further contract extension with Head Coach Tony Pulis which commits him to The Hawthorns until 2019.

Pulis was contracted to the Baggies until the end of the 2017/18 campaign and is "delighted" to have agreed to further extend his commitment to the Club following talks with Chairman John Williams.

The Head Coach cited Albion's continued Premier League stability and the further development of Albion's blooming Academy prospects as key elements of his future plans.

He said: "I'm delighted to extend my contract because it continues the stability within the Club which is essential for its progress.

"I've said all along that we are in a building phase which requires a step by step process. I think we've seen an improvement all across the Club in recent seasons and we must continue that in what is such a tough, tough league.

"Having spoken to John at great length over the summer, we know this Club has a direction it needs to follow and we are determined to do that."

Maintaining Premier League status, he says, is "absolutely essential" at a time when it has never been tougher to compete in England's top division.

Pulis continued: "We can never underestimate just how important it is to keep our place in a league that is now the most famous and the most followed in the world.

"Neither can we underestimate how difficult that is. You only have to look at the Championship in recent years to remind yourself how many clubs have fallen through the hoop and how many sets of supporters would love to be where we are now.

"We must never take that for granted and continue to commit every ounce of our energy to keeping our club in the division every club in the country wants to be in."

Pulis also sees the pathway from Academy to first-team football by the Club's pool of young players as another key phase on the road ahead.

He added: "It's also important that we maintain the development of our young players within the Academy.

"I believe that there's a tremendous talent pool in there and if that talent cannot be realised immediately within our own ranks it is vital we get them out into League football to continue their development and education.

"But I do believe in the future of these young players and that's an important part of the development of the Club – especially with the incredible rises we are seeing in prices within the transfer market.

"Managing outside the seven or eight in the Premier League is a tough job but it's one I still relish and enjoy. It's a great challenge but it's important that we maintain stability to tackle it.

"As for the season ahead, we of course want to improve our Premier League challenge and do everything we can to make a strong challenge in at least one of the major Cup competitions."

Chairman Williams was equally pleased to secure the Club's Head Coach until at least the end of the 2018/19 season.

He said: "We are continuing a transition from one ownership to another and it is absolutely essential that this process is accompanied by stability within the Club.

"Tony and I have engaged in lengthy and constructive discussions throughout the summer about the Club's future direction and I'm delighted that we have agreed an extension to his contract to maintain that stability."

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