Hetzke named Head of Academy Recruitment
17th November 2016Academy
Swansea City have confirmed the appointment of former footballer and Premier League mentor Steve Hetzke as Head of Academy Recruitment.
The 61-year-old boasts a 45-year career in football that saw him play for Reading, Blackpool, Sunderland, Chester and Colchester United.
The former defender also came up against Eusebio, George Best and Bobby Moore whilst on loan at Vancouver Whitecaps, playing over 500 games during his career and still holds the record for the youngest player to feature for Reading at 16 years, 191 days.
"I am really looking forward to taking on an exciting new challenge," he said.
"Recruitment is a big thing for an academy with Category One status. If you are not discovering young players, coaches have nothing to work with and develop.
"My key role will be to strengthen the organisation of how we recruit players at Swansea City from a young age."
Hetzke has worked closely with Swans Academy for the past six seasons as the Premier League's football youth support and hopes to use his knowledge with the club going forward.
"Through that role, I have a good understanding of what goes on at the academy," he continued.
"The set-up has come a long way since I first started working with the club.
"I have been very impressed to see how much we have progressed over the past few seasons. All age groups are competing in their games programmes against some of the best academies at a Category One level.
"We are still a new academy compared to others in the UK, so we must strive to continue moving forward.
"I will work with other members of staff to help bring in players through our 17 development centres in Wales and west England adding to the young talent pool we already have here.
"Going forward, our next step will be to get national recruitment and extend our reach across the country.
"It would be a massive plus for this academy to be able to bring more young players from other areas of Wales."