By Danny Wright

14th Mar, 2020 | 10:58am

Report: West Brom academy staff member hands in resignation

Steve Hopcroft has left his role as the head of academy recruitment at West Brom, according to the Birmingham Mail.

The newspaper claims that Hopcroft handed in his resignation to the club on Friday and has since been placed on gardening leave with immediate effect.

Hopcroft has been a key component in the success of West Brom’s academy in recent years with the recruitment chief responsible for bringing the likes of Saido Berahino, Jonathan Leko, Rekeem Harper to the Black Country club.

It now seems likely that he’ll head to Aston Villa with the Birmingham Mail also reporting in a separate article that the relegation-threatened Premier League club are keen to hire him.

Mark Harrison also switch West Brom for Villa last year as Albion suffered multiple losses among their academy staff amid a huge shake-up by technical director Luke Dowling.

Dowling was reported to have stopped players and staff of the Under-23s, Under-18s and the rest of the academy from mixing with the first-team players and staff at the training ground.

That move seemed to prove unpopular with those who had established themselves at Albion’s academy for being some of the best in the business in the West Midlands area.

It remains to be seen how Dowling’s chances will go because it’s not something that you’d expect immediate results from.

It could be years before we see whether or not the Baggies technical director made the right call but losing the likes of Hopcroft and Harrison – especially to a local rival – hurts.

In other West Brom news, our panel of Super Fans have reacted to the coronavirus pandemic causing football to come to a grinding halt in England.