Probert exits Bristol City to become Ipswich Director of Football Ops

Probert joined Bristol City as Lead Foundation Phase Coach in 2013

Probert joined Bristol City as Lead Foundation Phase Coach in 2013

GARY PROBERT has left Bristol City after eight-and-a-half years to take on the new role of Director of Football Operations at Ipswich Town.

Probert, who had been Academy Manager for the Robins since March 2016, is the fourth member of staff to follow Chief Executive Mark Ashton from Bristol to Portman Road. Since leaving City at the end of last season, Ashton has taken Chief Operating Officer Luke Werhun, Head of Performance Andy Rolls and Head of Sport Science Andy Costin with him to Ipswich.

The League One side said Probert would head up recruitment, Academy, analysis and the loans programme as part of his new role. They do already have a ‘General Manager of Football Operations’, Lee O’Neill, who is also their Academy Manager. The division of responsibilities between Probert and O’Neill is not clear.

Probert, who begins his new role on November 1st, said: “I’m looking forward to getting started. I think it’s a really exciting project to find out about, add some value to and play a part in.

"From afar, it looked like something big was happening here. Having spoken to Mark in the last few days, it’s brought it home to me how inspirational and big it could be.

"Having a relationship with people I’ve worked with previously is advantageous for hopefully hitting the ground running. The role will help support Lee O’Neill and the Academy, and help that transition from playing in the academy to senior football.

"I’m looking forward to meeting everyone and playing my part to help move the club forwards."

Ashton added: "I’m delighted to be able to confirm that Gary will be joining us. I worked with Gary for a number of years and he was instrumental in bringing through a stream of players into the first-team, with some of those going on to play in the Premier League.

"Gary will work closely with (manager) Paul Cook and Andy Rolls to oversee a number of crucial areas at the club."

Following Probert’s departure, Bristol City have promoted club legend Brian Tinnion from Player Pathway Manager to Academy Director and Gary Davenport from Assistant Academy Manager to Academy Manager. Again, it is not immediately clear how responsibilities will be divided between the two.

City CEO Richard Gould said: “We wish Gary Probert all the best and thank him for the nine years’ service he has given to the club and the Academy, which has developed greatly under his leadership.

“Brian’s appointment is a natural progression from his pathway manager role. His expertise in identifying and developing young talent is first class and we are looking forward to him taking the Academy even further.”

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