Owen appointed Head of Technical Development at Blackburn

Adam Owen worked as head coach at Lechia Gdansk from June 2017 to March 2018

Adam Owen worked as head coach at Lechia Gdansk from June 2017 to March 2018

Adam Owen has joined Blackburn Rovers as Head of Technical Development, completing their new three-man senior leadership team, while the club has also announced an Academy restructure (go to the bottom of the article for details).

Last month, Rovers appointed former player Rudy Gestede as Head of Football Operations, while John Park returned as Head of Recruitment, having previously been at the club from 2021 to 2022.

Welshman Owen, 40, spent most of his playing days in the Cymru Premier League, before moving into coaching with hometown club Wrexham. He has worked in Switzerland, Poland, China, USA, England and Scotland, as well as at Euro 2016 with the Wales national team and held coaching as well as performance roles.

The UEFA Pro Licence holder, who also has a PhD in Sports Science, was most recently a Technical Advisor at Polish side Lech Poznan, finishing first, third and fifth in his three seasons in the Ekstraklasa.

“I’ve been working abroad for the last 10 years, in lots of different countries with different cultures, and now I felt it was a good opportunity for me to come back to the North West, but ultimately it is the club that excites me,” Owen said.

“Throughout my career, the process of developing younger players and putting them on the map is something that has always stimulated me. So when the opportunity came to join the club it was certainly something that fits with a lot of the principles that I’ve had throughout my career.”

The new senior leadership trio replace former Director of Football Gregg Broughton, Head of Recruitment Sean Kimberley and Head of Performance Ben Rosen, who left the club in May, June, and February this year respectively.

Head of Emerging talent Paul Aladejare has also now departed the club after 18 months. He joined in January 2023 from Arsenal, where he was a Regional Scout Co-ordinator.

Posting on LinkedIn, Aladejare said: "The vast hours of hard work, due diligence and data driven evidence-based work to build a global database of talent from scratch has been my greatest job satisfaction. Identification of numerous players valued at £350k 12-14 months ago now valued at £25m to 40m."

Rovers manager John Eustace is looking to build on last year’s 19th-placed finish in the Championship.

ACADEMY RESTRUCTURE

Meanwhile, Stuart Jones has been appointed to the new role of Head of Academy, Youth Transition & Player Pathway, with Paul Gray replacing him as Academy Manager.

Jones has worked for Rovers since 2011 and been their Head of Academy since 2017. His new role will involve overseeing loans and managing high-potential players within the top end of the Youth Development Phase and across the 17-21 age group.

Gray, who has worked for the club for three years, most recently as Head of Academy Football Operations, will take over the day-to-day running of the Category One Academy.

Paul Gray (left) and Stuart Jones (right)

Paul Gray (left) and Stuart Jones (right)

Jones said: “We have over 180 players in the Academy and so the demands are high. A lot of clubs have gone down this route in terms of splitting the Academy from 9-16s and then the top end, so we’ve identified that and we do believe that it will make us a lot more productive and effective in terms of how we operate and making sure, ultimately, that the players get the best experience as they’re coming through the system.

“I think it was really important from my perspective to bridge that gap for the young players. Being part of the senior leadership team along with the new staff that have recently come into the building will hopefully bring it all together.”

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