Gus Williams: Man who 'unearthed the talent' for Wales joins Blackburn
Written by Training Ground Guru — July 23, 2022
GUS WILLIAMS has been appointed as Blackburn Rovers’ new Head of Recruitment after 22 years with the Football Association of Wales.
Williams joined the FAW in 2000 as Regional Development Co-Ordinator and went on to hold both senior coach development and scouting positions. From 2012 he has been their National Talent ID Manager and former Wales Technical Director Osian Roberts described him as the man responsible for “unearthing the talent which has taken us to major tournaments.”
Williams, who officially joins Rovers in August, said: "I am honoured and excited to join Blackburn Rovers, a club with a prestigious history in football. The vision and strategy outlined by the Director of Football on behalf of the owners and Board evidences an ambition to deliver success on and off the pitch, and being in a position to support that delivery is a real privilege.
“This club has a rich history of developing talent through both Academy graduates and recruitment. I’m looking forward to working with the football management team, with a real focus of helping the club deliver upon its goals, by virtue of Rovers’ motto ‘by skill and hard work’.”
Director of Football Gregg Broughton added: “Following a really robust recruitment process, we are really happy to announce Gus Williams as our new Head of Player Recruitment.
“Achieving excellence in player trading is vital in our aim of establishing Blackburn Rovers as an aspiring and ambitious club, and Gus will be key in helping us to develop this area.
“When we sat down to look at what we wanted from this role we targeted three criteria: 1. A proven track record of working within elite performance recruitment and scouting of players; 2. Excellence in creating structure and running processes; 3. Outstanding people skills with the ability to build relationships.
“Gus has a track record of excelling in all three areas. During his 22 years working with the Welsh FA, he has played a big part in their journey, rising over 100 places in the Fifa rankings and now qualifying for the 2022 World Cup for the first time since 1958, with a squad of whom 90% have graduated through their talent identification programme.
“More importantly, his values and emotional intelligence will allow him to develop the key part of any recruitment programme – relationships. We wish to thank Dave Adams and the Board of the Welsh FA for allowing Gus to join us so promptly.”
In an interview with TGG in May, Adams explained how the Talent ID department had expanded on Williams’ watch.
“When we started off with Gus in that Talent ID role we only engaged seven or eight clubs and our players came predominantly from Swansea, Cardiff, Newport and Wrexham,” Adams said. “We are now engaged with 96 clubs, so a lot has been developed through relationships."
Roberts, who was Adams’ predecessor as Wales Technical Director, wrote on Twitter: “Gus Williams leaving FA Wales after many years of unearthing the talent which has taken us to major tournaments.
“Great servant to Welsh football and a big loss to Wales. We worked together for over 20 years & I wish him well at Rovers - an excellent appointment.”
Williams replaces John Park, who left Rovers at the end of last season and has now taken up a senior scouting role with Rangers.