Former Wales defender Andy Melville has been named the Cobblers’ new head of recruitment.
A former Wales team-mate of recently appointed Town boss Rob Page, Melville actually began work at Sixfields in the closing weeks of last season, but his appointment has only now been made public.
Melville, who was assistant manager to Chris Wilder at Oxford United where he also worked with current Town chairman Kelvin Thomas, takes over from John Dreyer.
“Recruitment is always a key area in any football club and when we first arrived we appointed John Dreyer on a short term contract until the end of the season to help Chris Wilder,” said Thomas.
“We thank John for what he did, but we always needed to look longer term and we are looking for Andy to develop the recruitment structure of the club for us.
“I have known Andy for a while and always been impressed by his professionalism, his knowledge of players and his contacts.
“He brings with him a wealth of experience and connections having played and managed at all levels of the game and having held various recruitment positions.”
Melville enjoyed a long and distinguished playing career, winning 64 caps for Wales and making almost 850 senior appearances for Swansea City, Oxford United, Sunderland, Fulham, West Ham United and Nottingham Forest.
Melville has been brought to the club to improve the long-term scouting at the club, but Thomas says his immediate attention will be on strengthening the current first team squad ahead of the Sky Bet League One campaign.
“We will be continuing over time to develop the structure and setting up a network of scouts working on the club’s behalf and identifying potential playing targets for the manager,” said Thomas.
“However the short term focus is on recruitment for next season and the next six to eight weeks are a key time of year which Andy has already been planning for.
“It’s also a positive that Andy and Rob are well known to each other from their playing days with Wales so they have been able to hit the ground running.”
Since leaving Oxford, Melville has worked as a recruitment scout at Birmingham City and Blackpool, was head of recruitment at Portsmouth and, most recently, head of south recruitment for Brighton & Hove Albion.