Andy Scott hopes for further Swansea City additions
Swansea City’s new head of recruitment Andy Scott hopes he can help to strengthen Steve Cooper’s squad before the end of the summer transfer window.
The appointment of 46-year-old Scott was confirmed on Wednesday following a lengthy and thorough search for the right man to lead Swansea’s short and long-term recruitment efforts.
The former Brentford and Watford recruitment chief has gained a reputation for his ability to identify and acquire top-quality young talents such as Neal Maupay and Ollie Watkins.
He joins the Swans with a fortnight remaining before the transfer window closes.
Jake Bidwell and Ben Wilmot have already arrived at the Liberty Stadium during the off-season, and Scott is hopeful of there being further incomings before the deadline arrives on August 8.
“I am delighted to be here. I have been really impressed with the people at the club in the short time I have been here, so I am looking forward to getting started,” said Scott.
“There is not long until the window shuts, so it is all systems go and full steam ahead.
“Clearly the transfer deadline is looming so we have got to put everything else on the backburner in terms of set-up and recruitment staff systems.
“We have to bring some players in. The club has lost a couple of players and it is resetting itself. With loans and free transfers we are a little bit behind and playing catch up but I think there are still good options there.
“Hopefully I can make a good impact, it’s tricky coming in this late but we know what positions we are looking for, we have a good network of contacts and our style of play, coaching and facilities are a massive benefit for us bringing younger players in.
“Players at top academies will be encouraged to come here because of the quality of the set-up they will walk into. For me that’s a positive but we need to sell the club, sell the project, sell the coach and the style of play.
“It’s an opportunity for players to come and play in a fantastic stadium, on a great pitch, playing good football and showing what they can do in a really competitive, tough league.
“There are players at top clubs that a lot of teams will be wanting on loan, but fortunately those decisions are not made until the end of July or the first week of August, so we can still have an influence on that. “
Chairman Trevor Birch and head coach Steve Cooper have been open in acknowledging that any incoming signings are likely to follow in the same vein as free agent acquisition Bidwell and loan signing Wilmot.
And Scott has praised the honesty shown by the duo and football advisor Leon Britton when outlining the nature of the task ahead in his new role.
“It was absolutely a thorough process and, from my point of view, to be successful in having come through that process shows that the club has done its due diligence on myself and all the other candidates,” he added.
“To be on top of that group is very pleasing for me, and shows that what I can bring to the club, is what the club wants.
“Everyone has been very upfront. With Steve’s appointment it is clear this is a club that wants to develop young players and have a style of play and stick to that.
“Leon and Trevor were very honest. The club has come out of the Premier League and there are financial restrictions, and that goes for a lot of clubs in the Championship who have spent a lot of money.
“So it’s not a bad thing to understand where we are, and to reset as a club in terms of finances, the playing side of things and the management team.
“It’s an opportunity to start afresh, understanding the plan ahead.
“All our conversations have been very clear and I’ve been left under no illusions as to the direction the club want to move in.
“That clarity and honesty is the way I think everyone should work. We can be open and honest about all the decisions we make.”
And while the approaching end of the current transfer window is the immediate priority, Scott has also outlined his desire to put in place a structure that will allow Swansea City to plan effectively in advance for future windows.
“From my point of view, I like to work 12 to 18 months in advance, to know the succession planning of where the club is going to be, what under-23 players we have coming through and where we are going to be with contracted players,” he said.
“That will mean we can start to target the right players and influence the players, agents and clubs and take opportunities where contracts might be expiring and we can get in there early.
“It is going to take time to get to that point, but I have already had meetings to understand what we have at our disposal and how we can link that with the analysts we have here and how we can use the skills and assets they have got to help me and the recruitment department.
“It takes time, but once everything is in place you can very quickly see trends of what you are doing.
“It’s exciting times, I have been down a few days and everything has impressed me with the warmth of the people around and just how much they want to be successful and for you to fit in with what they are doing.
“It’s a really good way of being, and means it is enjoyable to come into work and be around those sorts of people.”