BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
West Bromwich Albion’s reserve team coach and manager Craig Shakespeare left the club on Friday to become Leicester City’s assistant manager.
He will team up with Nigel Pearson, with whom he worked for two years at The Hawthorns, at the League One side.
The 44-year-old (pictured) joined the Baggies nine years ago as a recruitment officer before moving on to become youth team coach during Gary Megson’s tenure and, subsequently, to assume control of the reserve team.
Shakespeare said: “It has all happened fairly quickly and it’s been a hard decision because of my respect for Tony Mowbray as a manager and person. But I have the same respect for the man I’m joining at Leicester. Both are guys that I hold in high-regard.
“I’ve made this decision for the sake of my own career and, hopefully, it will turn out to be a good one. I’ve got very fond memories of my time West Brom and I’ve had nothing but good wishes from the people here. I appreciate that.
“I’ve enjoyed my time at Albion immensely – not only on the coaching side but with the people behind the scenes and the supporters.
“My 11-year-old son, Jed, supports West Brom and I’ve told him to carry on supporting them. I now face a new challenge, which I’m really looking forward to.”
Shakespeare’s relationship with Albion began during his playing days. The former midfielder made 128 appearances in three years after signing in February 1990 and helped the club to secure promotion from the Old Second Division in 1993.
Following the departure of Bryan Robson as manager in September 2006, followed by Pearson, Shakespeare took charge of the first team and led the Baggies to a 2-0 win at Crystal Palace.
Mowbray was appointed soon afterwards and Shakespeare became a valued member of his management team.
Mowbray said: “We’re sorry to see Craig leave. He contributed greatly to our success last season but we didn’t want to stand in his way. I think he was genuinely torn over what to do because of the Premier League challenge we have here.
“He feels it is an opportunity to progress his career from being a coach to an assistant manager. I’m sure he and Nigel have got an ambition to get Leicester promoted and it’s a good opportunity for him.
“While we’re disappointed he’s going, we understand the reasons and we wish him all the best in his new venture.”