Birmingham bolstered by arrival of Head of Recruitment & Chief Scout
Written by Training Ground Guru — February 9, 2023
BIRMINGHAM CITY have plugged gaps in their backroom team by appointing Frank McParland as Head of Recruitment and Joe Carnall as Chief Scout.
Previously, Technical Director Craig Gardner, appointed in June 2021, had overseen recruitment without either of these two positions being in place.
In a statement, the club said that Gardner had “now received board approval to make the necessary changes [and]... appoint a recruitment team”.
“This development forms a cornerstone of Gardner’s vision, as he continuously enhances the support network to deliver achievement on the field and is something he has been personally working towards since his appointment as Technical Director,” the statement added.
McParland is hugely experienced, having been Director of Recruitment at Rangers and Director of Football at Brentford, Burnley and Nottingham Forest. Prior to these jobs he had two spells with Liverpool, first as Chief Scout and then as Academy Manager. He has been a football consultant since leaving Nottingham Forest in 2017.
Carnall is also very experienced and is returning to Birmingham for the third time, having worked for the Blues from 2006 to 2013 and then from 2014 to 2017 as Head of Performance Analysis and Recruitment Analysis.
It was during this second spell at Blues that he worked with manager Gary Rowett, becoming his trusted lieutenant, and then moved with him to Derby, Stoke and Millwall.
His title with the Lions was a new one of Technical Coach, with responsibility for “analysing training and making sure the team are reaching their tactical targets.”
Carnall left the Lions in June 2022 so he could spend more time with his young family, who had remained based in the Midlands.
Gardner said: “It is great to get approval for these appointments. This is the next stage of improvements required to support the footballing department.
“Both Frank and Joe are experienced professionals and excellent at what they do. Recruitment is very important, and they will each bring impressive skills to help the club make further strides in this area.
“I have spoken before about the need to be creative when it comes to recruitment and these appointments ensure fresh impetus and ideas are added to the department.”
Carnall - along with Rowett and Head of Performance Dave Carolan - were the guests on the first episode of the Training Ground Guru Podcast. He also gave extensive insights into the work of football’s tactical analysts in this 2018 article, which remains one of our most popular.