The first player to be selected as Albion captain by former manager Gus Poyet is returning to the club for a third spell – this time as under 23 player coach.
Andrew Crofts has signed a two-year playing contract, solely to play in Simon Rusk’s under-23 side, as one of three permitted over-age outfield players, allowed under Premier League 2 rules.
Technical director Dan Ashworth said: “This is an innovative step and we are delighted to have Andrew on board, firstly as a coach, following Liam Rosenior’s move to Derby County, and he will become part of our under-23 coaching team, working with Simon and his assistant Shannon Ruth.
“Secondly, the thinking behind the playing role is to have someone of his experience out there on the pitch alongside our younger players and to impart that crucial knowledge he has gained from his time in the game.
“To have that experience out on the field, in the pressure situation of a game, will be of enormous benefit to our young players and have a positive impact on their collective and individual development.”
Crofts had agreed a one-year contract as player-coach with Yeovil Town last month and the Glovers have agreed to cancel his contract to allow him to take the new role with Albion.
Chief executive and deputy chairman Paul Barber said: “Andrew has remained in contact with the club ever since he left us as a player and made no secret of his desire to move into a career in coaching.”