HEAD OF RECRUITMENT JIMMY HOLMES PROVIDES AN UPDATE

Recruitment and Scouting is something that i am very passionate about.

In my opinion –

Recruitment is signing a player that everyone else knows about and getting him into your club and getting them to choose your club. That can be done a few different ways.

Scouting is finding a player that no one has heard of, signing them for FREE and then turning them into a player that can move up a few levels with or without your club.

Then selling them on for a profit or watching them go on and have a career in the game at higher levels again with or without your club.

Once a player has been identified to the management team my work is done. It’s then over to them to decide if the club signs or doesn’t sign that player. I’m here for any advice they need on that player as I’ve usually spent a number of weeks / months even years watching and reporting on them.

It is after all down to a Manager or Head Coach on team selection so it’s vital that they want that player moving forward.

I think this is where a lot of people get confused.

From day one at Macclesfield FC my job was to build a squad from the nothing into something that could compete at the top end of the table.

I think last season showed how difficult this was with the high turnover of players throughout the season. Ultimately we got it right going up as league winners.

The next stage was to take what we had and move that group into the daytime training model seeing if the recruitment that we had done could play at a higher level and challenge again this season.

We had a number of key targets that had been watched on numerous occasions that we wanted to add into our current group so when we made our approach we were fully confident in the player before we signed them.

We currently sit at the top of the table at the turn of the year fully focused on the task ahead.

It’s interesting to see how people react when we sign or allow a player to leave. It’s just all part of the game that we all enjoy and players moving on to other clubs isn’t anything new.

Our current squad stands at 20 players with 10 players still with us from last season. That for me shows how far we have come as a club and answers a few questions on the comings and goings and squad size.

The fact that a club like Macclesfield FC is always ambitious is probably in the nature of things.

But we know that we have to take one step at a time.

We’re a brand new club still building on and off the pitch.

We have a clear plan on how we want to get there. Even if it isn’t always easy to bring players into Macclesfield FC, the individual players we sign can identify with our path.

It was part of our plan to also build a squad that is younger. Long term we don’t want to have a relatively high average age.

If you want to build something, you have to think two or three years ahead.

The players are now all of an age, so to say, in one, two, three years they will still be at a good footballer’s age and everyone’s goal is to move forward with the club.

Our goal was to have an experienced player and a young hungry player in each position.

I will say that some players have attracted attention early in the season. We have always said we won’t stand in anyone’s way if the right move at the right time comes along for them. It just shows that we are doing something right.

If the players individually and squad collectively keep the pace high it’s going to be pleasure to watch them moving forward.

The mix of young and old fits right at this present time.

It is also clear that the academy is very important to us.

We are very well positioned with the infrastructure and have an academy that you have to move forward and identify our up and coming young players. This is again very important to everyone involved in the club.

The young players in the academy should have the opportunity to become first team players here.

We will encourage and prepare them for this.

We want to ensure that the doors to the first team are wide open and every opportunity is given to them to achieve this.

The goal for the future is to incorporate as many players as possible from our own academy in the first team. If a player is good enough then they will always be given the chance.

Every club is different I think it all depends on the club identity. Whatever budget you have and the league or competitions your club is involved in. We don’t want to copy other clubs we want to recruit the best talent for our club and be unique.

The purpose of good recruitment is to find players who fit a team’s style of play before anyone else realizes how good they are.

While data and statistics are important, it’s not the only factor to consider.

In the future, the key to gaining an advantage in recruitment may be finding players who don’t show up in the data. Clubs should be thinking about how to stay ahead of the curve. One option is to focus on player development, rather than just buying established players.

In addition to player development, clubs should also consider the value of scouting and developing relationships with agents and other clubs. Instead of just buying established players, clubs can also look for undervalued players and negotiate deals to bring them in.

Data and analytics are important tools, but they should be used in combination with other strategies to find and develop players.

Smart clubs will look beyond just what can be measured and consider a variety of options to stay ahead in the competitive world of football.

Jimmy Holmes.

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