FA technical director Dan Ashworth reveals he decided to quit as soon as England returned from World Cup
- Dan Ashworth chose to leave position as FA’s technical director after World Cup
- Ashworth played a crucial part in England’s best World Cup run since 1990
- The 47-year-old revealed he missed the day to day aspect of club football
Football Association technical director Dan Ashworth has revealed his decision to quit was made as soon as England returned home after the euphoric World Cup campaign.
Ashworth leaves English football’s governing body on Tuesday to take up a similar position at Brighton after almost seven years with the FA.
And the 47-year-old leaves St George’s Park on a high after playing a crucial role in the best performance from a senior England side at a World Cup since 1990.
Dan Ashworth decided to leave as the FA’s technical director following the World Cup
But despite the growing buzz around Gareth Southgate’s camp – which has amplified following England’s qualification for the inaugural UEFA Nations League finals in the summer – Ashworth insists he has no doubt in his mind that this is the right time for him to walk away from the international scene.
‘When we landed – I’ll never forget this – coming back from Russia, on the runway, it occurred to me that it would be another four and a half years before we did this again,’ said Ashworth.
‘We didn’t see all the euphoria because we were all in Russia, so I don’t think you ever quite feel what was going on in the country.
‘You get YouTube clips and snippets, and messages from your family, but it was emotionally quite difficult to get back into home life, family life, normal life while realising there was still a fair chunk of time before we had another go at competing in football’s ultimate tournament: a World Cup.
Ashworth revealed that he missed the ‘day to day part of being at a football club’
‘Difficult times, but in a nice way. I’d much rather have that than come back as we have after some other tournaments.
‘After six years, I’d missed the day to day part of being at a football club: the transfer windows, seeing players and coaches every day, and seeing your team compete once or twice a week.
‘I always felt that, once I took this job, I’d go back into club football.
‘I’ve loved every minute of this job. I don’t regret for a minute taking it. But it’s time for me, and maybe time for the organisation, to have a fresh set of eyes on it and a new challenge.
Les Reed (right) will take over from Ashworth as the FA’s technical director
‘I wouldn’t want to go on a low so I’d much rather be going, hopefully, with credibility still intact than going on a situation where it’s gone badly.
‘I’ve read it’s money, it’s this, it’s that. I’ve never been money driven, it’s got nothing to do with that, I left West Brom to come to England for less. It’s got nothing to do with that.
‘I want to be able to, when I finish my career, wherever it might be, whether it’s my choice or someone else, with a range of experiences and feeling that I’ve consistently pushed and challenged.
‘So there’s a bit of going back into club football that fulfilled my competitive edge, I think, on a regular basis.’
Les Reed will replace Ashworth as the FA’s technical director.