Head of Football Operations explains plans
In the second part of the series, the Club is giving an insight into recruitment – an area which doesn’t often make the headlines until a player signs.
Huddersfield Town has made significant changes in its recruitment operation over the last 12 months, as explained by Head of Football Operations Ross Wilson.
To read part one of the series, click HERE
Wilson continued by discussing the role of football agents in the recruitment process:
“As ever, agents have an important role to play and we have an extensive network that we deal with. Agents have vital, up to date information on the availability of players and we want to steal a march on other clubs in that area also. We believe that our relationships with agents and agencies are excellent. Agents are not a ‘necessary evil’ as I’ve seen written; they play an important part in the game and in our strategy, but it’s all about utilising them properly. The key is to be proactive and Club-led to avoid recruitment based on phone calls from agents offering players and them leading the process.
“Each day probably involves in excess of 20 telephone conversations with agents, whether that be about one of our players, one of our targeted players, a player that we are monitoring or indeed providing some new information. It’s also important to get out and spend time with these contacts face to face, so we regularly do that. It’s all about the strength of relationships and the time that we put into that.”
Town’s Head of Football Operations believes that agents are key in Town’s ability to expand knowledge and look into targeted leagues abroad:
“As we have tried to grow the base of information about specific leagues in Europe, we have worked with identified agents to assist us in our initial forays in those new markets. We can’t go in blind with no point of reference and we are certainly not at a stage where we can appoint staff in different parts of Europe. As we grow, perhaps that will change, but for now it’s about being creative.”
Ross also explained that data has an increasingly important role in football recruitment alongside scouting within the industry:
“Football is increasingly using quantitative data and analysis in all aspects of performance. During the last few months the Club has appointed a full time Recruitment Analyst and together with our IT systems this allows the analyst to look at each option very closely. For example, they can compare the on the field performance of our existing players with that of player options at home and abroad. This is going on across the country at many clubs, so we have to try and be at the forefront to be able to get ahead. It is something crucial - central to our Club’s approach - and has been championed by Mark Robins.
“Ultimately there’s been a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes, but we have great staff here who are fully dedicated to this process. The key is everyone from the top down driving this on and using all the tools at their disposal.”
Check out htafc.com tomorrow for the third instalment!
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