Written by Simon Austin — March 6, 2017
EVERTON director of football Steve Walsh has given an insight into the scouting overhaul he believes will deliver a top-four place for the Toffees.
Walsh - described as ‘the most influential person in the Premier League’ by Sir Alex Ferguson last season - joined from Leicester in July 2016. Everton already had the biggest scouting department in the country, according to their head of academy recruitment Martin Waldron, with 235 scouts covering the North West and another 90 operating nationally.
But Walsh has organised a significant restructure. Martyn Glover arrived from Sunderland to become chief scout and Hull's Laurence Stewart was appointed senior recruitment co-ordinator. At Under-23 level, Sheffield United academy boss Jamie Hoyland was brought in to head up recruitment, with Damian Matthew as his lieutenant in the south, and Tony Grant in the north.
The fact Grant was formerly first-team coach at Blackburn Rovers and Matthew held the same position at Charlton tells you a lot - about the power of the Premier League, the importance placed on scouting by Everton, and how difficult it is to remain on a managerial pathway in this country.
There were also departures, of course: Ian Atkins left for Aston Villa, and Steve Brown to Manchester United, who have conducted their own major scouting surgery.