Thomas confirms Cobblers are to make structure changes following relegation

Academy and recruitment the focus of newly formed committee

Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 3:13 pm
Kelvin Thomas.
Kelvin Thomas.

Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas has confirmed the club are to make structural changes behind the scenes to help unite the academy with the first-team and also strengthen recruitment.

Thomas first spoke of his desire to make changes in February and now Town's relegation back to League Two has been confirmed, he is keen to put his plans in place.

A new committee will be formed made up of Ian Sampson (academy manager), Graham Carr (advisory role), James Whiting (chief executive), the first-team manager and a soon-to-be-appointed head of recruitment.

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Chief scout Simon Tracey departed the club by mutual consent earlier on Wednesday, while a new manager and head of recruitment are expected to be appointed within the next couple of weeks.

"What we're working towards is more of a committee structure around recruitment," confirmed Thomas. "That's not necessarily a committee that will make the decisions but they will provide more of an oversight and an accountability for recruitment across the whole club.

"The group will meet on a regular basis and it will involve the academy manager, Sammo, to have that connection with the academy, Graham Carr will have an advisory role, it'll also involve the manager, James (Whiting), myself to a degree and there will be a new head of recruitment.

"We've always taken the view that the manager controls the recruitment and works with the scouts but as a club we're taking a bit more control over that process and ensuring that we have significant processes in place and be a bit more data driven."

The changes will allow for a more united philosophy throughout the whole club.

"It's not a decision-making group necessarily, it's a group that will define our playing philosophy and what type of players we want to bring in," Thomas added.

"There needs to be a much closer relationship with the academy and the first-team and that's part of these changes. We've seen some benefits from that with Jon, Sammo and Rico coming in.

"Our new head of recruitment will also sit on the technical board. The technical board is something that already exists within our academy structure but it's now having the first-team recruitment involved along with the academy so there is some communication there.

"There was a disconnect in the style of play with our academy and the first-team and that's something that this committee will address."