Dyer joins Charlton

Alex Dyer has paid tribute to West Ham United after leaving his role as reserve-team manager to take up the post of assistant manager at Charlton Athletic.

Dyer ended a seven-year association with the Hammers by starting work as No2 to close friend and former West Ham defender Chris Powell on Monday morning.

The 45-year-old spoke warmly of his former colleagues at the Boleyn Ground and also wished the club all the best in their fight to remain in the Barclays Premier League.

On a personal level, the lifelong West Ham fan is now looking to make his mark working alongside Powell at The Valley.

"It came out of the blue. When Chrissy Powell got the job he said to me 'Do you feel like coming across?' and I said I'd love to. I had to sort out things at the club, which we've done, and it's a good opportunity for me to step up and work with a first team, which is a goal.

"It's been a good learning curve with the reserves and I'm hoping now that I can go on to the next level and support Chris in his new job.

"It's a great opportunity for me personally. It was a wrench leaving West Ham because I love the place. I've been here for seven years. I came here first as a conditioning coach with the youth team but I always wanted to coach knowing that my background was playing football.

"Slowly, the doors opened up. Kevin Keen always said to me that coaching was what I should be doing so when the opportunity to take the reserve-team job, I take my hat off to the man because he is the one that pushed me and told me to go and take my badges.

"When the door opened up, I grabbed it and I've had so much support from Kev - he's been great for me. I've worked under some very good coaches like Kevin and Steve Clarke who have helped me to set out my sessions.

"Also, the people off the pitch have been great, especially the kit man Pete Williams. From day one, he has been great for me, looked after me, given me advice and put his arm around me when we've been beaten in the reserves. He's kept me going and is one of those people who I will miss most of all, along with the Doc [Ges Steinbergs] because we've always been there. People have come and gone but we are the ones who have been around and it's been great.

"I also want to thank my physio Tom Smith, James Gritt, Eamon Swift, Anita Taylor for doing all the paperwork and also Shirley and Keith in the canteen."

Dyer has enjoyed some fantastic times at West Ham, initially joining the club as a conditioning coach in the Academy before being promoted to reserve-team manager in September 2008.

Over the past two-and-a-half seasons, Dyer has played his part in developing a host ofpromising young players who have gone on to become first-team squad members including Jack Collison, Zavon Hines, Freddie Sears, Junior Stanislas and Marek Stech.

"Getting back into the Premier League with West Ham was a great time. Even though I wasn't directly involved, getting to the FA Cup final was also a great time for the club I supported as a kid.

"I was born in Forest Gate and went to school there. I supported this club when I was a boy and it's my team. My Mum still lives in Forest Gate and my family are here, so it's a wrench to leave.

"I have made the reserve-team role my own. We have a nice spirit and the kids have been great. The young boys who have come through have been brilliant. We have a good, tight unit and work hard for each other and I'm going to miss them because they are good kids.

"It's time for me to go to the next level and see if I can grow, keep learning and wanting to be the best coach out there.

"I hope that, with Chris Powell and the staff at Charlton, we can get ourselves out of that division."

While he is naturally now focused on helping the Addicks gain promotion from League One, Dyer is desperate for the Hammers to maintain their Barclays Premier League status.

"Obviously, speaking about West Ham, I really hope they avoid relegation this year. The squad is good enough, the management team is good enough to stay in this division. I wish Avram, Colesy - I've known him since I was at Palace and he's been great for me - Paul Groves and Wally Downes the best. They're a great backroom staff and they've got to stick together and I'm sure they'll be OK.

"I'm sure they can survive and stay in the Premier League.

"I wish Avram the best because he's been good to me in the sense that when I told him about leaving he said he didn't want me to go but didn't stand in my way. He's provided me with a smooth passage to move on and I appreciate that.

"I hope I haven't forgotten anyone because I've enjoyed my time at this club and I hope that, one day, I can come back in another capacity because I do love the place."