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Bilić on Championship ambitions and Albion traditions

Slaven Bilić has made it clear he is relishing his first crack at a competition he describes as “the essence of football".

The 50-year-old Croatian was confirmed as Albion's new Head Coach on Thursday and, despite a career which has taken him all over Europe and to two European Championships at both club and international level, the season approaching will be his first taste of the Championship.

It is a division which he says has long fascinated him - “my friends will tell you it has been on my bucket list” - and the chance to take it on with the Baggies was hugely appealing.

Bilić said: “First of all, my friends know, and my fellow coaches know, not just here in Croatia but throughout Europe, that the Championship was always a competition that was on my bucket list.

“This is a common view and not just with me, I assure you. This is a view held by many coaches all over Europe.

“It is like the real essence of football; it is a proper league and when I get the chance to manage one of the strongest clubs in this division, it was an easy decision to make.

“I’ve played in England, I’ve managed in England. I know the club, I know West Bromwich Albion and its history, its traditions. I know their story.”

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