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How Keith Downing made the move possible

New signing Chris Brunt is reunited with Assistant Head Coach Keith Downing, following the pair’s work together at West Bromwich Albion.

Downing was involved in the Baggies Academy before his assistant first-team role and temporary head coach appointment in December 2013, when Brunt was club captain.

And Downing, who joined City from England’s youth setup in August, played a pivotal role in bringing midfielder Brunt to BS3, with the 35-year-old completing his move to the Robins as a free agent on Monday (September 7th). Brunt had previously been with West Brom for 13 years; he joined the Hawthorns club in 2007 but left at the end of his contract this summer.

Watch: The full interview

 

Brunt said: “Keith is a great guy and a brilliant coach. From the couple of sessions today, the lads have responded really well to him and I’ve known him a long time, since West Brom. He kept in touch even when he went on to the FA.

“When he joined here we exchanged a couple of text messages to wish him all the best. I got a phone call from him in the last couple of weeks about my plans. He introduced me to the manager (Dean Holden) and things have gone pretty quickly since then.”

Keith Downing

Brunt’s career started at Middlesbrough in 2002 though he wouldn’t make his professional debut until a loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday in March 2004. He made the move to Hillsborough permanent that summer and he helped the Owls win promotion to the Championship in the 2004/05 season.

Brunt signed for the Albion in 2007 and he won three promotions to the Premier League during his 13 years there, once via the Championship title (2007/08) and twice via the runner-up spot (2009/10, 2019/20). He made 269 appearances in the top flight and was crowned Baggies’ 2008/09 Player of the Year.

He made 65 appearances for Northern Ireland, scoring three goals before his retirement in 2018.

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