Former Rangers and Scotland centre-back David Weir has been appointed as Brighton & Hove Albion’s first pathway development manager.
The 48-year-old has been pinpointed to help develop the young players sent out on loan by the club, while also being the link between the Seagulls and the more experienced individuals who find themselves out on loan.
The newly developed role is one which is common at a number of Premier League clubs with Weir responsible for helping players forge a career in professional football, whether it is with Brighton or elsewhere in the senior game.
Weir had an unusual route into professional football, going to America to play in college. On returning to Scotland he played for Falkirk and Heart of Midlothian, earning a move to Everton. He joined Rangers in 2007 and played a key role in helping the club reach the Uefa Cup final.
He earned 69 caps for Scotland, become the oldest player to be capped for the country at 40.
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Weir was last in employment at Nottingham Forest as assistant manager to Mark Warburton. He started his management career with a brief spell in charge at Sheffield United before linking up with Warburton as assistant at Brentford. They took over Rangers in 2015 and guided the Ibrox side to promotion to the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Albion’s head of recruitment Paul Winstanley told the club’s website: “With an increasing number of our younger players going out on loan, this is a particular area in which we feel it is important for us to develop.
“David will be responsible for working with those players individually and collectively, during pre-season and throughout their loan spells to help their footballing development, with the aim of assisting with their graduation to long term first-team football.
“He will also monitor the senior professionals who are out on loan and feed back to Chris Hughton, the recruitment team and the club’s coaches at the relevant level.
“David has an excellent playing and coaching CV, has excellent contacts throughout the football world and is hugely respected within the industry. We are absolutely delighted to welcome him to the club.”