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Shan's stock on the rise as suitors make a move.

Byline: PAUL SUART With Albion paul.suart@reachplc.com

ALBION could face a battle to retain first-team coach and former caretaker manager Jimmy Shan.

Shan has admirers from afar, after impressing as interim boss last season when he guided the Baggies to the play-offs only to see them lose narrowly on penalties to Villa.

The 40-year-old, who is not in the frame for Albion's managerial vacancy and has returned to his role as first-team coach, has been approached indirectly by four clubs.

All of the enquiries, which include a club from overseas, concerned managerial positions.

"There's been some interest off the back of what I've done and my record," Shan told the Birmingham Mail.

"My name has been bandied around, but it's nothing more than that. I can't say who the clubs are, but they've all been as head coach.

"The key thing for me is that it's interest. I've not spoken to anybody.

If I was going to, the first people I'd speak to are at West Bromwich Albion, (chief executive) Mark Jenkins and (technical director) Luke Dowling."

For all his experience as a coach within the academy, Shan was a total rookie at first-team level before he stepped up to succeed Darren Moore as caretaker manager.

He relished the limelight, winning seven of his 12 matches in charge - including the play-off semi-final second leg against Villa when the Baggies played with ten men for 40 minutes.

Only the three bosses who won promotion - Daniel Farke, Chris Wilder and Dean Smith - bettered Shan's tally of 19 points from the last ten matches of the regular season. "I was sent an email that, just on games played, had me joint-fourth in the Championship table," Shan added. "I was above (Marcelo) Bielsa at Leeds.

"The play-off semi-finals gave me a bit of exposure. I've had approaches at different levels in terms of firstteam coaching and assistant manager roles in the lower leagues over the past two or three years.

"Or going to work in high-profile academies. People sound you out and then wait for an opening and things develop from there. Now there's been some interest in me as a head coach from a variety of different levels."

Shan had never previously felt the need for an agent, but caved in after fielding countless calls during and beyond his run as caretaker manager.

"Over this last 70 or 80 days, however long the experience was, I've had lots of agents ring me," he said.

"I've had to make a choice to go with a particular agency because that is definitely the direction I'd like my career to go in.

"I'm 40 years of age. I've got 18/19 years' coaching experience. I've got 12 first-team games on my CV now. Do I want to become a manager? Yeah, I do."

Shan previously admitted his taste of the spotlight had accelerated his ambitions to become a head coach.

And while he would jump at the right opportunity, if it presented itself, he's not going to rush into anything.

"If it's going to be the next two, three or four years plugging away and keep learning, then so be it," he added.

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jun 4, 2019
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