FORMER Canvey Island left-back Julian Dicks has left Heybridge Swifts to take up a coaching role at West Bromwich Albion.

Dicks, who was appointed Swifts’ boss in October, has departed the Aspen Waite Arena to work alongside newly-appointed Albion boss Slaven Bilic.

The 50-year-old was a member of Bilic’s backroom staff while the Croatian was in charge at West Ham United and Heybridge chairman Gary White was keen to wish Dicks well at the Championship club.

White said: “While we are disappointed to lose Julian after he did a superb job for our club last season, this opportunity is simply too good for him to miss.

“It gives him a chance to work again in the Premier League, where he was previously with Slaven at West Ham for two seasons until November 2017.

“We all wish him well in his new role and thank him for doing such a terrific job after coming in following a disappointing run of league and cup results.”

Dicks, who hung up his boots after a brief spell with Canvey, led Heybridge to Isthmian North play-off final success but was left frustrated as the non-league pyramid restructure resulted in Swifts still missing out on promotion last term.

Karl Duguid, who was Dicks’ assistant manager during his reign at the Aspen Waite Arena, will take over as boss subject to ratification by the club’s committee.

The 41-year-old former Colchester United captain has been a member of the Heybridge backroom staff since June 2018 and White believes Duguid is the ideal candidate to take charge.

The Swifts chairman added: “We have wasted no time in identifying Karl as the ideal replacement for Julian.

“Karl had a superb playing career and has built up a good deal of non-league experience now.

“Last season’s success was very much a double act with Julian and we hope the transition will be very smooth.

“Karl will be appointing an assistant manager in due course and we hope the new management team will be able to build on the legacy of Julian and his predecessor Jody Brown following two memorable seasons at the club.”