New Brighton & Hove Albion technical director Dan Ashworth explained that the club’s ambition and rapid progress in recent years convinced him to make the switch from The FA.
Ashworth joined Albion on a full-time basis last week and admitted it was a case of biding his time in deciding upon his next career move.
He said, “There were a few opportunities over the previous 12 months, but none of them really appealed to me.
“The things that appealed to me about Brighton were several. One, it was such a forward-thinking club - the new training ground, the stadium, the chairman, the chief executive. They are also really forward-thinking, and the club had grown so quickly over the last few years.
“Secondly, it was a new role. The club had never had a technical director before and they brilliantly sold the vision of the club and for the role itself.
“There are a few roles out there in this country and in other countries that are different - not every technical director, sporting director, director of football, whatever title you use, are the same.
“And the bits that they wanted me to come in and do at Brighton were the bits that really appealed to me, so it was a job that really fitted. The owners and the club really fitted too, and I felt it was a good time for me to try and get back into club football.
“Then the final piece of the jigsaw was after meeting Chris [Hughton]. I had known Chris for a number of years, and the two of us go back a long way. I wanted to make sure that he was comfortable with the role and it was a role that he wanted. Once I’d established all those things, it was a no-brainer really.”
The club’s new technical director assessed the long-term aim during his tenure, and feels the task of consolidation in the Premier League should not be underestimated.
"We want to be a sustainable Premier League club. Staying in the Premier League is always the main goal. For most of the clubs outside the top six, there is always a chance you will get relegated at some stage.
"Look at the three that went down last year [Stoke City, Swansea City, West Bromwich Albion].
"I passionately believe in player development, so if we are in a position where our academy has got more international players and some more players in and around the first team squad, that would give me great pleasure as well."
Ashworth highlighted the importance of not changing too much as he settles into the role, and is focusing on enhancing the structures already in place rather than making wholesale changes.
“I need to understand how the club works, such as the academy, recruitment and medical departments, along with the first team. It’s important to learn the culture in place here.
“Over the next three months, it’s about trying to assess any areas where we might be under resourced in, areas we can tweak a few things, and try to support the people that have already done a very good job in trying to achieve those goals for Brighton.”