West Bromwich Albion have hired the man who brought us Callum Wilson and James Maddison at Coventry City.
Coventry City’s loss is certainly West Bromwich Albion’s gain.
At least, that is the feeling emanating from the Sky Blues fan base with the confirmation that Coventry’s academy manager Richard Stevens has left the League One high-flyers to take charge of West Bromwich Albion’s youth department.
The Baggies have been looking for a new academy chief after Mark Harrison defected to join Midland rivals Aston Villa earlier in September. And, in Stevens, they might have just snared one of the best around.
The reaction to his departure, from Coventry’s fans, owners and even manager Mark Robins (as reported by Coventry Live), speaks volumes about how highly Stevens was regarded at the 1987 FA Cup winners.
Established Premier League stars Callum Wilson and James Maddison came through the ranks at Coventry during Stevens’ 12-year reign, while Cyrus Christie, Tom Bayliss and Jordan Willis have all shone in the Football League after making their name with the Sky Blues.
And with Coventry enduring years of financial strife, their academy has never been more important. No wonder the fans are sad to see Stevens go.
No way I mean I wish him luck and thanks for his amazing service but he’ll be a tough one to replace. Think of the players that have come through the ranks under his leadership
— Neil Sean (@Neil_Beasley) September 16, 2019
Thanks for all you’ve done for the club @RJS8337 – we are in your debt. Good luck in your new role with the Baggies
— Rob Jones (@RobJonesPUSB) September 16, 2019
All the best to him. Proper professional who has helped nurture plenty of talented players whilst at the club. Will be a massive loss! #PUSB
— Matty Roper (@M_Roper96) September 16, 2019
— Neil Johnson (@neil81johnson) September 16, 2019
You have done a great job. Sad to see you go but we all need new challenges. Good luck. If there are good youngsters at WBA can you suggest a loan to Coventry?
— Alan ‘hobo’ Stewart (@AlanSte38104856) September 16, 2019
Will be a huge loss, best of luck @RJS8337
— James List (@jameslccfc) September 16, 2019
Could be West Brom’s best signing this season. A true professional, all the best
— Pete (@CoachPeteQCX) September 16, 2019
Big loss for the club that is! All the best for the future
— Alex Bosworth (@AlexBos88) September 16, 2019
Huge loss for City. Left the Academy in a great position with a great future. Hopefully his replacement can carry on from his job. #PUSB
— Jon Byrne (@jonbyrne5) September 16, 2019
MASSIVE loss for the club.
— yehman (@yehman72722517) September 16, 2019