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MTO | Player recruitment

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Below is a summary of questions asked and answers given regarding the recruitment of players during the latest Meet The Owners event.

On those involved in the recruitment team and process of recruiting players 

James Coppinger 

“I put the three recruitment people up on the presentation- myself, Ryan [Simpson, analyst] and Michael [Cairney, head scout]. Danny is our head coach and we’ve got Paul Green, Chad Gribble, Ian Bennett - it’s a collective. 

“Danny is the main person in terms of recruitment. He speaks about what he wants. But it’s a collective decision and it’s working for the club, it’s what’s best for the club.

We’ve had managers in the past that have come and wanted to sign players, in my opinion, for the wrong reasons So it’s about making sure we have structures and processes in place. 

“This is one of the reasons we appointed Danny, because he worked with the head of football operations at Huddersfield so he understands coming into this role. He wants to coach and be the best coach in the world. It’s important that when we bring someone in they understand that it’s not just about bringing in players here there and everywhere. It’s about having a process and structure and he is the biggest part of that.” 

Danny Schofield 

"It’s very collaborative in what we do and that’s the way I want to lead the players in the football club. I want everyone to have a voice and have an opinion. 

“Michael Cairney and Ryan Simpson are very good at their jobs. They know the players, they are in every meeting I have with the players, they’re always on the training pitch which I ask them to be, they’re next door to me so they know exactly how I play football. They know position-specific characteristics and what I want for each position so they’re aware of that. 

"They’ve almost got a criteria to go towards and then we evaluate that. We’re relentlessly watching clips, they’re sending me player profiles through, comments the managers have made on this player, on what their running stats are. We are contacting the sports scientists at the other clubs to see how physically fit they are, and then we’ll make a call together collectively.” 

On whether Danny Schofield has the final say on recruitment 

Danny Schofield 


On watching players live 

Danny Schofield 

"If we get the time and they play in a game where we can get access to them, the best thing to do is watch them live. We also have a software called WyScout where you can watch any player in the world. You can watch his footage, you can watch the full games and there is different categories in terms of defensive capabilities, attacking qualities - a load of different details where you can watch their footage and get a feel for the player.” 

Questions asked on the night 

  • Copps, when you were talking about recruitment, you talked about scouts down to yourself but not once was Danny’s name mentioned. How much involvement does Danny have in recruiting players? Because if it doesn’t work and the results aren’t there, there is only one guy who gets it in the neck. Apparently this recruitment thing is a group effort but there is only one guy who gets it in the neck and that’s Danny, so my question is how much input does Danny have on players coming in?” 
  • If the players you wanted to bring in, Danny doesn’t agree with them, has he got enough say to say we don’t want that player, he’s not the one I want?” 
  • When you get these player stats and this information, do you then go out and watch this player yourself so that you have your view on him rather than someone else’s view on it?” 

Questions submitted prior to the event

Via @NettoFC on Twitter

  • How far down the line are we with replacing Graham Younger and has the Scottish scout been replaced yet? How big is the scouting and analysis department and how close is Coppinger to completing that particular overhaul? 

A full detailed answer to this was given in the presentation on the night. Michael Cairney was appointed into the role of head scout last June. Based at Cantley Park, he oversees a team of ten voluntary scouts across the country. A nine-step recruitment process has been implemented which progress through the following: squad planning; identifying players; scouting reports; player profiles; extensive video scouting reports; background assessments; live (in-person) scouting; shortlisting; and reviewing with coaching staff and the board.

  • We sold Kyle Knoyle, who shares the same agency as Danny Schofield and then in the same window loaned in two players also on that agency’s books. What due diligence was done on the incoming pair and how did the deals come about? 

Details on the recruitment process and how players are targeted are provided above.

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