Luton's first away opponents in the Championship appoint Barnsley boss

Baggies announce Frenchman as their new head coach

Friday, 25th June 2021, 1:41 pm
Updated Friday, 25th June 2021, 1:42 pm
Valerien Ismael has headed to the Hawthorns

Town's first away opponents of the season, West Bromwich Albion, have appointed Valerien Ismael as their new head coach after agreeing a compensation package with Barnsley.

The 45-year-old has signed a four-year contract at The Hawthorns following an excellent campaign at Oakwell, leading the Tykes to the play-offs from 21st position when he took over in October.

Luton visit the Baggies on Saturday,. August 14, just three days before they go to Barnsley, the third year in a row Town have travelled to south Yorkshire in the opening month of the season, winning their last two visits.

Albion chief executive Xu Ke told the club's website: "Valerien has established a reputation as an excellent coach and I have been impressed by his professionalism, enthusiasm and hunger to succeed.

"His performance last season with Barnsley, and his coaching career to date, all point to a man who has a long, successful career in front of him.

"It is my hope that he is with us for at least the next four years.

"I am confident that by working together we will be able to achieve our goal of returning to the Premier League, but success is earned by building on strong foundations, and our plans must now look further into the future."

The Frenchman, who has also managed in Germany and Austria with VfL Wolfsburg and LASK, said: "I feel really proud to have accepted this challenge.

"I feel a big responsibility but I'm ready for this job and I am delighted to be here.

""This was the next step I wanted to take in my career and I'm ready to work with everyone at this club.

"Although there's going to be a lot of hard work this season, I am excited for the big task in front of us."

A statement from the Tykes added: "It is with disappointment that Barnsley FC can today confirm Valérien Ismaël has left the Club to join Sky Bet Championship side, West Bromwich Albion.

"The 20/21 season will live long in the memory of all those with an affinity to the Reds.

"The Club would like to thank Valérien for his efforts over the last nine months.

"Now, continued progression must be ensured, with the recruitment process for a new head coach already underway.

"All proceeds from the buyout of the contract will be utilised to strengthen the squad ahead of the forthcoming season."