IAN Foster has been appointed as the new head coach of Plymouth Argyle.

He succeeds Steven Schumacher, who left the club to become Stoke City manager last month.

Whiston-born Foster is the third successive Pilgrims manager from Merseyside, following on from Ryan Lowe and Schumacher.

The 47-year-old joins the club after being assistant manager at Saudi Pro League side Al-Ettifaq to former England and Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard.

He previously worked as a coach for the World Cup-winning England Under-17s, alongside current Argyle defender Lewis Gibson, before managing the Under-18s, Under-19s, Under-20s and was an assistant to Phil Neville with the Senior Women’s team.

Foster has also had a spell alongside Paul Cook at Portsmouth and played an instrumental role in their title winning 2016/17 season.

He was a former player with Hereford United, Kidderminster Harriers, Chester City, Barrow and Galway United.

Current Argyle first-team coach Kevin Nancekivell will form a part of Foster’s coaching staff, with further announcements on his backroom staff to be made.

Argyle chairman Simon Hallett told the club's website: “I am thrilled to welcome a coach of Ian’s calibre to Plymouth Argyle as our new head coach. He was the perfect candidate to lead our great football club forward as we embark on our next five-year mission.

“Ian showed a passion and knowledge for the club throughout the interview process, and showcased in some detail how he sees the best way to take forward our exciting and dynamic young squad.

“Having worked with some of the best players this country has produced, he has a passion for developing young footballers, as well as playing expansive, attacking football which fits perfectly with how we want the club to progress. I am excited to see how he takes the team forward and very much welcome him to Plymouth Argyle.”

Director of football Neil Dewsnip added: “I have spoken openly in the past few weeks about how we would wait for the right person for the job and in Ian we believe we have found exactly that.

“He has incredible pedigree as a coach and working with young players and we feel he is the perfect person to take forward this incredible group of players we have.

“Now is the time to look to the future and I am excited to see Ian get to work on the training pitch immediately and to help us achieve our aims, both this season and beyond.”

Argyle chief executive Andrew Parkinson commented: “It was important when going through the recruitment process that the successful person showed the key qualities required to be the head coach of Plymouth Argyle.

“The interest in this role was incredible, with applicants from all over the world, and in Ian, we feel that we have found the perfect person to lead the team forward and continue the success we have seen over the past four years.”