A WORCESTER coach who spotted Dan Scarr’s talents as a centre-back has spoken of his pride at seeing his former charge sign for Birmingham City.

Scarr has landed a two-and-a-half-year contract at the Championship side for an undisclosed fee after shining in Stourbridge’s FA Cup run.

And ex-Worcester City striker Mark Owen, who spent two years coaching Scarr, said he was not surprised to see the 22-year-old secure a professional deal.

Scarr joined Owen’s football academy based at Heart of Worcestershire College, which works in partnership with Worcester City, six years ago.

Owen said he was instantly impressed by Scarr’s attitude and work ethic, but soon realised he needed to switch position to make the most of his attributes.

“When he came in as a 16-year-old he played at right-back,” Owen said.

“He was always a hard-working lad who took on information really well, but it was a case of where we played him at that age.

“He was tall, covered the ground well and had good distribution, so I thought a move to centre-half would suit his game more.

“We made the decision at the end of his first year and he has gone on from strength to strength since then.”

Owen said Rubery-based Scarr had two “outstanding” years at the academy which saw him captain his team in the 2012/13 campaign.

After passing the college course, he went on to play for Causeway United and Redditch United before joining Stourbridge in June 2015.

The defender, who is the son of former referee Ian Scarr, played a key role in the Glassboys’ run to the third round of the FA Cup, scoring in their 2-1 defeat at Wycombe Wanderers earlier this month.

His performances reportedly attracted interest from a number of Football League clubs before Birmingham City offered him a deal.

And Owen is confident Scarr can make the step up.

“I am really proud of him,” he said.

“It is his next step now. He has proven himself at non-league and had a fantastic run in the FA Cup which gave him that showcase.

“He has obviously stood out and I know there were more than one or two clubs looking at him.

“It is absolutely fantastic for him and I think he can step up again and make some appearances.”

Owen, who has got about 40 youngsters on his books, said Scarr’s “success story” was a source of inspiration for his pupils.

“It is great to have someone who came through our ranks eventually make it as a professional,” he said.

“This is proof to my lads that even though they may not be ready now, five years down the line they can be if they knuckle down.

“If Dan can do it there is no reason why any other young footballer who comes through our doors can’t do it.”