Wilson explains progress behind the scenes
In the first of a series, the Club is giving an insight into areas which don’t often make the headlines.
Huddersfield Town has made significant changes in its recruitment operation over the last 12 months, as explained by Head of Football Operations Ross Wilson.
During the closed season the focus of supporters understandably switches to player transfers, but Wilson explained that revamping recruitment structures at the Club to meet the needs of Championship football have been high on the agenda for the past year and planned before that.
“During the last year big changes have been made to the whole process at all levels, from the First Team squad, through Under-21s and the Academy right down to our Under-8s. The core plans were in place in 2011/12, but promotion allowed major improvements to be implemented.
“We now use a mixture of both traditional scouting methods and more objective analysis and data-based quantitative measures when it comes to recruiting players; both have a big role to play and go hand in hand.
“On the qualitative side, it’s about the people we have and how we do things. We have made large changes and investment in the regional structure and network of recruitment staff across the UK that has seen the Club look at more games and more players than ever before.
“The result of this is we are linked to many players, just because we are at so many games. It’s important we spot talent early, which means hard work and lots of it. The key then is to filter the information and use it to make correct judgements.
“Our reporting assessment and review process has also seen investment with the Club using industry-leading IT software from Scout 7 and Prozone, which has been tailored to provide the information our staff need. We also use Wyscout, a video tool that gives our technical staff instant access to UK and international footage; that is very useful for work on both recruitment and opposition. Work is going on continuously behind the scenes to develop and refine our use of these. Mark Robins and the scouting staff and analysis can spend endless amounts of time on these tools, whether that is looking at our opposition or targeted players.
“As a Club, we have also started to assemble information on specific European leagues, but not in a scattergun manner. That’s been a substantial investment too, particularly in terms of the logistics involved with going to watch games abroad first hand; again, this is new to the Club. We have started from scratch to build relationships outside of the UK and now get good information that we can trust and build on.
“The Club also performs extensive due diligence on players - not only on their on the field ability, but also into their character. Their ability to integrate with the existing squad and culture of the Club is just as important as their ability with the football in order to be successful at Huddersfield Town or anywhere else."
Check out htafc.com for part two tomorrow!
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