Ismael takes 'young and hungry' trio from Barnsley to West Brom
Written by Simon Austin — July 13, 2021
VALERIEN ISMAEL has taken a trio of his former Barnsley staff with him to West Brom.
The Frenchman was unveiled as the new Baggies boss at the end of June, with the club paying Barnsley £2m in compensation for him. Now they have hired three further staff from Oakwell, who were all part of Ismael’s coaching set-up there last season:
- Adam Murray (assistant): Joined Barnsley in July 2018 as U18s lead and went on to become assistant, as well as having two stints as caretaker manager.
- Jonny Northeast (Head of Sport Science): Was Head of Sport Science and Fitness at Swansea for three years before moving to DC United in the United States as their Performance Director. Worked at Barnsley alongside Ismael from November 2020.
- Jack Riley (Performance Analyst): Worked for Barnsley for five years before moving, with Ismael, to West Brom in July 2021.
Ismael said: “I think we built a really strong relationship as human beings, as well as staff, over the past few months.
“The desire to work together and stay together was really strong. That’s a must-have quality in our staff. They are dedicated to the principles of how we want to play. They are young and hungry, and I’m really delighted to have the three guys on board.”
“In this industry I think it’s really difficult to find people who you are on the same wavelength as; who trust you, and that you trust," Murray added.
“We hit it off straight away at Barnsley and, as the season went on, our ideas were the same. It clicked and as soon as he said there might be a chance to join him - though I’ve had some good years at Barnsley - it was an opportunity that was too good to turn down.”
Markus Schopp replaced Ismael as Barnsley boss and the club have also brought in Matt Cook to replace Northeast as their Head of Sport Science.
He was most recently fitness coach at Nice in France and has also worked for New York City and Manchester City’s Academy, all alongside new Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira.