West Brom’s head of academy recruitment Steve Hopcroft has committed his future to the club by signing a new contract.
Manchester United were rumoured to be trying to enlist the help of Hopcroft as they rebuild their own academy structure, but the 50-year-old has decided to stay.
Responsible for discovering and developing a number of high-profile youth players already, Hopcroft believes Baggies fans can look forward to enjoying a host of young talent coming through in the future.
“I’m absolutely delighted to be staying,” he said.
“I’ve had interest to leave in the past and I’ve always felt that maybe the grass isn’t greener on the other side.
“I’ve been here for 12 years and there has been a great deal of work put in to get the club to the point where it is now playing quality academy graduates in the first team. It’s really refreshing and rewarding.
“When you sign a boy at six, seven or eight years of age, it’s fantastic to see them come through the age groups and play in the first team.
“There are players in our younger age groups that remind us of Sam Field and Kane Wilson. Their journey is only just beginning and it might be ten years before they play for them to come through and hopefully I’m here to see them through.
“It’s our aim to recruit players who can play in our first team that live within an hour of The Hawthorns. We’re managing to do that now and I’d imagine we will have continued success because we’ve got a good model.
“The great thing about this club is that we give opportunities to young players providing they are good enough. Not every club can offer that.”