Matt Richardson appointed Blues' Head of Academy Recruitment

Matt Richardson appointed Blues' Head of Academy Recruitment

13 January 2022

Blues are delighted to announce the appointment of Matt Richardson as Head of Academy Recruitment.

The 36-year-old has gained a wealth of experience whilst occupying various roles with West Bromwich Albion, The Football Association and, more recently, FA Wales.

A current UEFA A licence holder, Richardson will be tasked with identifying promising young players and attracting them to the Club.

He will oversee the Academy scouting network and lead on creating a culture which will appeal, not only to potential players, but their parents too.

Working closely with the Academy Director, Paul Williams, and Recruitment Partnerships Manager, Simon Hill, he will ensure that the Club strive to recruit players befitting of a Category One setup with the potential to make the First Team squad.

Upon joining Blues, Richardson commented, “Firstly, I’m delighted to be here and can’t wait to build on the Club’s existing success.

“I’ve been very impressed with the number of high potential players across the age groups, and you only have to look at the number of Academy graduates reaching the First Team squad, to know that there is an existing pathway here.

“Players who were identified at pre-academy level have progressed all the way through the system here, so we know it works.

“Now we now have to optimise that process and supplement the traditional approach to player identification with modern methods of locating and assessing high potential players.

“We know we are competing with a number of clubs in the area, so we have to create a culture which is unique, player-centred and builds relationships and trust.

“I want to stress that we will be very locally focused, and this is so important. There is a huge amount of talent in Birmingham and the Midlands area more broadly and we believe future First Team players currently reside in this city.

“So we have to provide them with a legitimate worthwhile opportunity rather than position scouts across the continent. It’s our job to support and nurture the players that are on our doorstep.”

Richardson began his career as a coach in 2006 before securing his first full time talent identification role at West Bromwich Albion as their Academy Recruitment Officer.

His role centred around prizing the most promising young, local players to the Baggies whilst developing the most effective strategies to identify those with high potential.

He worked alongside former Blues scouting chief Steve Hopcroft for three years at the Hawthorns before making the switch to the Football Association, fulfilling the role of Player Insights Lead for the Youth Development Phase.

Here, he adopted an holistic approach to scouting and talent identification, including tracking and monitoring players with data and video analysis.

Having spent two years at the FA, Richardson then joined the Football Association of Wales in 2020 as a national scout.

Welcome to Blues, Matt!