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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

QPR Report Tuesday: Big Backroom Staffing Changes at Loftus Road



 How they used to Train!


QPR Official Site - Scouting Coordinator Arrives

QUEENS Park Rangers Football Club is delighted to announce the appointment of Kevin Cruickshank as Scouting Coordinator.

Cruickshank initially worked under QPR manager Mark Hughes at Blackburn and spent four-and-a-half years at Ewood Park before leaving in the summer.

Despite having an opportunity to join another Premier League side, Cruickshank has opted for the challenge presented to him by R’s Technical Director Mike Rigg.

“Mike is an infectious guy and when he told me about the plans for the club, it was something I wanted to be involved in,” Cruickshank toldwww.qpr.co.uk

“I got a phonecall out of the blue from him, asking what my situation was. I had actually been approached by another Premier League club but once I met up with Mike and he explained the plans for QPR, it was a role I really wanted to get my teeth into.

“Tony Fernandes has got great vision for the future here and you can tell he is a very passionate man. It’s an exciting time to be here.”

Cruickshank will head up the scouting operation at Loftus Road, and he admitted: “It’s a blank canvas here. There are six existing scouts but apart from that, there’s nothing.

“We are putting a whole new structure in place here now with regards to European and worldwide travel as we look to expand the network and build a database of players that we want to bring into the football club.

“These days you probably scout more to discover less because there are so many scouts around now and the networks are so vast.

“We must make sure we work hard to stay one step ahead of the rest. We want to discover potential players earlier than anyone else.

“We have to look globally. We all know about players in certain parts of south America such as Brazil and Argentina, but what about other countries within that area? And the quality in Asia is undoubtedly improving too. We have got to stay on top of everything. We must be aware of these growing markets.”

With the summer transfer window drawing to a close, Cruickshank admits player acquisition is at the forefront of his thinking, but it seems this will always be the case.

“At this time of year, that’s obviously the most important thing,” he added. “We have got just under two weeks left now of the transfer window.

“But as soon as that closes, we are already scouting with the January window in mind. Plus we are thinking ahead to the following summer, and the January window after that. It’s an on-going process.

“We have got to be that prepared.”

QPR Official Site

QUEENS Park Rangers Football Club is delighted to announce the appointments of Chief Scouts Stuart Webber, Hans Gillhaus and Steve Hitchen.

Having previously worked with Wrexham, Webber joined Liverpool’s academy in 2009 as a Senior National Scout before progressing to become their Director of Recruitment in 2011 where he remained until taking up his post with QPR.

Webber, who will be based in England, told www.qpr.co.uk: “The attraction for me was the opportunity to work at first team level. 

“Mike Rigg contacted me and I respect him greatly for the work he has done previously at Manchester City as well as what he is doing at QPR.

“When he unveiled the club’s plans, this was a no-brainer. It’s a great club and everyone seems to be pulling in the same direction so it was a very easy decision.

“We are going to be a tight-knit group and will be looking to recruit players from all over. We will be looking at players right across the board from the top-end all the way through.”

Gillhaus spent more than five years with PSV Eindhoven before joining Chelsea where he remained for six years as a senior scout. 

Last year Gillhaus, who represented Holland during his playing days and is based in his homeland, was Sporting Director at Belgian side S.V. Zulte Waregem.

“This is perfect because there is something we can do here that is really possible,” he said. “I am here because of the ambition that is being shown by QPR.”

Hitchen, who will be based in France, has been with Liverpool for the past two years after enjoying five years at Tottenham.

Now he is looking forward to his new role with QPR. 

“Mike Rigg played a big part in my decision to come here,” said Hitchen. “I know how he works. He has got great focus and knows exactly where the club should be going.

“When he first called I must confess a little bit of football snobbery kicked in. I wasn’t sure it was the right move but when he explained the direction of the scouting system here, it really appealed.”


QPR Official Site - Looking to the Future

Shaun Hallett named as Head of Academy and Football Operations ...

We are now in the process of building a team"

Shaun Hallett

QUEENS Park Rangers Football Club is delighted to announce the appointment of Shaun Hallett as Head of Academy and Football Operations.

Following the introduction of the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) by the Premier League, which iHEAD s designed to establish a hierarchy of association football academies in England, Hallett’s role will primarily involve preparing QPR’s youth set-up for advancement within the new structure.

Hallett spent six weeks auditing the club’s youth set-up on instruction from QPR Technical Director Mike Rigg and, following his recommendations, has been brought in to see they are implemented.

“It was only a very soft audit but one of my recommendations from that was the Academy should be more in-synch with the football operations of the club,” Hallett toldwww.qpr.co.uk

“Where we are now and where we need to be are quite a distance apart. There is a world of difference between identifying the appropriate staffing structure on paper and actually putting the people into that structure who will be able to deliver.

“As part of the new structure we are implementing, everyone who was working here on contract have been retained and given a permanent role within the Academy.

“We are now in the process of building a team.”

Under the EPPP, there are four categories which Premier League and Football League academies fall into. Category One represents the top academies in the country.

QPR have applied for Category Two status and will discover if they have been successful following an independent audit which is anticipated to take place early in 2013.

“The plan at this stage is to hopefully secure Category Two status and then by the time our new training ground comes along we will certainly, from a facility perspective, be prepared for a Category One application,” Hallett explained.

“The three principle components for submission of each Category are based around facilities, staffing – have you got the right structure, have you got people of quality with the relevant qualifications and experience – and, finally, programming.

“This final element you are audited on very robustly. That’s everything from the way the coaching is delivered to the education and welfare programmes, and the sports science programmes. 

“They also look at how these elements are integrated across the club, to ensure the Academy isn’t regarded as a separate entity.

“The guys on the ground here were doing the day-to-day work but, to be honest, we have not progressed things quickly enough as a club to meet the deadlines of the Premier League (to achieve Category Two status).

“It is my principle short-term role to address this. 

“I have a lot of project management experience over the last eight years and there is something very appropriate about that in terms of the development of the Academy, particularly the new training ground.”

Hallett, who has spent many years working with national governing bodies of sport and implementing sports development pathways, is in the process of radically transforming QPR’s Academy set-up as the club looks to expand its youth team operation.

“We will be going from two full-time staff at the Academy to more than 20 in the space of a couple of weeks,” he revealed. 

As part of this new structure, Steve Gallen has been named Professional Development Coach, primarily taking charge of the Under 18s.

Hallett added: “Steve’s substantial experience as a coach in this environment will be massively important to the club in terms of us moving forward.”


QPR Official Site - Academy Senior Management Vacancies


We are looking to strengthen Academy senior management team ...
AS PART of the Club's ambition to create a �world class� Academy for young players we are currently looking to strengthen the senior management team by appointing two experienced and dynamic Heads Of Department.

The Head of Education and Welfare will be responsible for formulating and leading the planning and delivery of the education and life skills programme, and for the educational progress and welfare of the Academy Scholars and schoolboys, ensuring that the programme meets the requirements of the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP).

Working in conjunction with the Academy Player care & Welfare Officer the post holder will also be responsible for the welfare programme of a growing number of young players as our recruitment policy takes effect. We are seeking a qualified and committed teacher with experience of leading teams and a genuine commitment to, and passion for, the game.

The Academy Head of Sports Science & Medicine (SS&M) will be responsible for the development and implementation of the Academy's Sports Science & Medicine plan in line with the Club's overall strategy for developing elite players. Heading up a team of specialists, and working in conjunction with the First Team SS&M department, this crucial role will prepare our young players for the physical demands of elite level sport and will ensure their safe and effective recovery.

Reporting to the Head of Academy & Football Operations both positions are seen as key appointments in relation to the future success of the club. Whilst we currently deliver our programmes from two sites, comprehensive plans are now being developed for a new state of the art training ground which will accommodate all specialist playing, training and supports services when completed.

This is a very exciting time to be involved with the club's growth and we are seeking ambitious and energetic people who wish to help us develop and fulfil our plans.

Job descriptions and Person specifications are available here:
Head of Education and Welfare
Academy Head of Sports Science & Medicine

In the first instance please apply by email with a CV and covering letter to Shaun Hallett, Head of Academy and Football Operations at shaunh@qpr.co.uk  QPR


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