Brendan Rodgers happy to wait to for head of football development

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers happy to wait for head of football development. Picture: SNS/Rob Casey
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers happy to wait for head of football development. Picture: SNS/Rob Casey
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Celtic have been without a head of football development for four months but the club will bide their time to fill the role.

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It is all the rage to talk about footballing structures in Scottish football right now. Yet timing and tuning roles can be just as relevant in personnel choices. Celtic have operated without a head of football development - essentially a chief scout - since the departure of John Park four months ago.

Brendan Rodgers is content for the situation to continue until it is possible to attract the person who fits his job spec for the position.

“Between now and the summer we’ll probably have something organised on it,” said the Celtic manager. “We’re working on it behind the scenes and it’s been a good process. We’re just waiting on the right one. The most important thing is they have the eye for a player.”

Scouting has been moneyballed and metricated in present-day football to the point where it is considered concentrated around creating spreadsheets and crunching numbers. Rodgers may be a progressive in his profession but in this area of expertise he believes time-honoured traditions continue to have their place.

“The job will involve controlling the process but also watching players as well,” he said. “The key for me is knowing the player. The main responsibility of the role will be 75% controlling and managing our recruitment team to get the profiles that I want - assisting and working with me and Peter [Lawwell, chief executive] in terms of managing a stock of players, from kids right the way through.

“It can very complicated in modern football but for me it’s simple: know a player. You get a lot of new school around now with computers, statistics and analysis but you still need guys who know a player. A bit of new school and old school and that fusion should allow you to bring in the players that you want.”