Nani excited by new challenge

Gianluca Nani revealed his pride and honour at being appointed technical director at West Ham United.

The 45-year-old from Rome was unveiled at a Boleyn Ground press conference on Monday afternoon alongside manager Alan Curbishley and CEO Scott Duxbury. Nani has been with Italian club Bresica Calcio in a similar capacity since 1999 and is relishing the opportunity to move forward with West Ham United - describing it as a club with "incredible potential" and the Academy system as one of the best in the world. Click here to read more about his appointment, which takes full effect from June.

"I am really proud and really honoured to be here at West Ham," Nani said. "I know this is a club full of history, full of honour. I know that West Ham play the right way." He added that he was aware of the legacy of legends like Bobby Moore and Trevor Brooking and also explained the importance of young talent like James Tomkins, Jack Collison and Freddie Sears. "I know the history of West Ham. I know the fans are really passionate, like the football has to be - played with passion."

The appointment comes after several months of looking for someone who could help the club with plans to move forward in terms of player recruitment, transfer policy, the existing Academy and training-ground infrastructure. "I met Alan and Scott some months ago. We started to talk about the ambitions of the club ... and we have the same point of view." He stressed the aim was to "follow the tradition" of developing homegrown talent but that the club should also look for the best young global prospects. In his time at Brescia, he brought in former world player of the year Roberto Baggio while also playing a major part in the development of the likes of Daniele Bonera, Luca Toni, Stephen Appiah and Matuzalem.

Curbishley is confident in a strong working relationship in future. "In Gianluca we feel we have brought the man in who is going to help me enormously in what I need to do and push the club forward. I think that you may well see that this sort of appointment may be come the norm in the Premier League. I know that other clubs have gone down this route and the manager has certainly got to be on board with everything that is done and I have been involved in the process completely.

"After several meetings and several discussions and getting to know each other, I feel that Gianluca is the person I need to help me in the recruitment area of the club - certainly at senior level and venturing down into the Academy level. It is a big brief we have given him, we are sure he is up for it. He is vastly experienced in that area. We took a good look at Brescia at what they have achieved over the years and their set-up and their infrastructure and it is something that we are lacking at the club."

Scott Duxbury, West Ham United CEO, said: "West Ham United's aims are to continue to compete successfully in the Premier League and to challenge for trophies both domestically and in Europe. A key factor in helping to achieve this is the appointment of our technical director Gianluca Nani. Many months ago, the manager and the board agreed a job description for what was required from the appointment.

"Someone who could establish a leading domestic and European scouting network, ensure the Academy and the first team have access to the best players both domestically and internationally and establish an infrastructure to ensure the successful development of all our players. The manager led the recruitment process and interviewed all potential candidates which led to the eventual appointment of Gianluca. The club now has a major opportunity to grow and develop as a leading football force in the Premier League and we are extremely pleased Gianluca has agreed to join us and be part of the club and its ambitions going forward."