Cousins promoted to Head of Football Operations by Stoke City
Written by Training Ground Guru — February 20, 2022
LEAD ANALYST Andy Cousins has been promoted to Head of Football Operations at Stoke City as part of a revamp of leadership roles at the Championship club.
The restructure follows the exit of Chief Executive Tony Scholes after 17 years to become Chief Football Officer at the Premier League.
Cousins, 37, arrived at the club as Lead Analyst with manager Michael O’Neill in November 2019. He now fills a position that has been vacant since Mark Cartwright, whose title was Technical Director, departed in July 2019.
O’Neill said: “It’s probably making something that was unofficial, official. Andy is very close to the team but not a lot of his work is on the training pitch. Andy is involved in all aspects of trying to improve the team, whether it’s performance analysis or recruitment.
“His job brief has always been quite wide and varied and it made sense to go this way, it was the way the owners want to go. The most important thing is that we have a cohesive way of working and that’s what we have.
“Andy has worked with me for a long time, he knows what I want as a manager and he can demand that from other areas of the club whether it’s through the Academy or recruitment or sports science. It’s about having the right structure.”
Cousins, a former Leeds United youth player, previously worked in recruitment for Manchester City and as a scout for Northern Ireland with o’Neill. His promotion at Stoke means 11 of the 24 Championship clubs now have Technical Directors of equivalent (see below).
As you'll see, there are many different job titles. As Brighton Technical Director told the TGG Podcast: "There’s a great deal of confusion about what the role is, partly because of all the different titles.
"They’re called Technical Director, Sporting Director, Director of Operations, Director of Football, so there’s lots of different versions and with that come different job descriptions."
Meanwhile, secretary Chris Laird has taken on the new title of Head of Football Administration at Stoke. The club are also in the process of appointing a new Chief Operating Officer.
CHAMPIONSHIP CLUBS WITH TECHNICAL DIRECTOR (OR EQUIVALENT)
- Bournemouth: Richard Hughes (Technical Director); Simon Francis (Assistant Technical Director)
- Barnsley: NONE
- Birmingham City: Craig Gardner (Technical Director)
- Blackburn Rovers: NONE
- Blackpool: John Stephenson (Head of Football Operations)
- Bristol City: NONE
- Cardiff City: NONE
- Coventry City: NONE
- Derby County: NONE
- Fulham: Tony Khan (Director of Football Operations)
- Huddersfield Town: Leigh Bromby (Head of Football Operations)
- Hull City: NONE
- Luton Town: NONE
- Middlesbrough: Kieran Scott (Head of Football)
- Millwall: NONE
- Nottingham Forest: Kyriakos Dourekas (Director of Football)
- Peterborough United: Barry Fry (Director of Football)
- Preston North End: NONE
- QPR: Les Ferdinand (Director of Football)
- Reading: NONE
- Sheffield United: NONE
- Stoke City: Andy Cousins (Head of Football Operations)
- Swansea City: Mark Allen (Sporting Director)
- West Brom: NONE