England have steadily achieved greater success since his appointment in 2012 and his departure will come as a blow
Dan Ashworth has left his position as technical director of the Football Association.
The 47-year-old is to take up a similar role with Premier League club Brighton & Hove Albion.
Ashworth’s departure will come as a blow to the FA, as well as England boss Gareth Southgate, with whom he has worked closely alongside.
Having joined the governing body in 2012 as director of elite development, Ashworth was promoted to technical director three years later.
He drew up an elite player development plan – branded ‘England DNA’ – aimed at creating more successful sides across senior men’s and women’s football.
England have since had major success at youth level, with the Under-17 and Under-20 teams winning their respective World Cups, the Under-19s becoming European champions and the Under-21s reaching the semi-finals of the European Championship.
Ashworth’s reputation was further enhanced this summer when the senior team under Southgate reached the semi-finals of the World Cup.
Now he has decided to return to club football with Brighton, becoming their technical director with responsibility for their ‘ongoing football development’.
He will oversee the academy and medical departments at the Amex Stadium, as well as player recruitment at all levels, and will officially start work in the spring.
Ashworth held a similar role in the top-flight with West Brom before joining the FA.
A statement from chairman Tony Bloom read: “There is no doubting Dan’s standing within the game, and we are absolutely delighted that he will be joining us as our technical director.
“Dan’s CV speaks for itself, and while his work alongside Gareth Southgate, with England’s senior men’s team, was well documented last summer during the World Cup, it’s also worth highlighting his excellent work and successes across all the England men’s, women’s and junior teams.”
Dan Ashworth said, “I am delighted to be joining Brighton & Hove Albion, one of the country’s most progressive clubs. This is a huge opportunity for me and I have taken a lot of time to talk to Tony Bloom, Paul Barber and Chris Hughton before making the decision to make the move.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at The Football Association, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the chairman Greg Clarke, CEO Martin Glenn, England managers Gareth Southgate and Phil Neville, as well as the coaches and staff at all levels who have supported me so well.
“The success we have had with our national teams is down to careful planning and high performance from the players, but also the hard work and professionalism of a lot of people over a sustained period of time, and of course the relationship we have had with the clubs, the leagues and the National Game. It’s been an honour and great pleasure to serve my country in the past half-decade.”