Sweeting appointed as MK Dons' first Sporting Director
Written by Training Ground Guru — June 2, 2021
MK DONS have created the new roles of Sporting Director and Performance Director, with Liam Sweeting and Simon Crampton taking up the respective positions.
Sweeting, who has been Head of Recruitment and Analysis at the League One side since March 2018, will be responsible for the “strategic direction of the club’s ongoing football development, managing player recruitment at all levels and working closely with the Academy to maintain the pathway to the first team.”
Crampton, who has been with MK Dons for 15 years, will provide the first team “with all the organisation, structure and performance strategies they require.”
The restructure follows the departure of Executive Director Andrew Cullen, who had been with the Dons for almost 13 years, to become Chief Executive at Portsmouth.
Sporting Director and Performance Director were two of the 'five key roles for high-performing teams' outlined by David Slemen, the founding partner of Elite Performance Partners, in a series of articles on TGG last summer.
Chairman Pete Winkelman told MK Dons' official website: “As I have said previously, change provides opportunity, and we are taking this opportunity to modernise our football club which will lead to a fundamental change in how we operate.
“By creating the roles of a Sporting Director and Performance Director, we are providing our manager and first team with the backroom support they need, as we look to bring on-field success to Milton Keynes.
“I am very excited to announce these two new roles but I am even more thrilled to announce that these new positions will be filled by individuals who have already contributed so much to our club.
“At MK Dons, we are all about development, both on and off the pitch, and this is a fantastic opportunity to recognise the work that Liam and Simon have done and allow them to grow as individuals for the benefit of both themselves and the Football Club.”
Manager Russell Martin, who will be speaking at TGG's Individual Development Coaching Webinar on June 16th, added: “I am very excited about this new structure. It’s a modern structure and one that a number of the top clubs are following, and we now have it in place with people who are very capable.
“This change has provided a fantastic opportunity for Liam and Simon, who have already contributed so much to this club, and are two people I believe in professionally and personally.
“They will provide consistency, continuity and long-term strategy to the first-team set-up, and allow us to build on what has been a positive season.”
Sweeting said: “It’s a role that I have given a lot of thought to and worked towards, and it’s one that I am very excited for.
“This restructure shows how the Chairman wants to move this club forward in a positive direction. I already have a fantastic relationship with both him and Russ, so this move isn’t about major change but about us building and taking that next step as a Football Club.
“The immediate work starts now as we look to build a competitive squad for next season. We want to strive to do the best we can and hopefully, along with our supporters, we can achieve something special together.”
Crampton added: “I am excited and proud to have been given this opportunity. Throughout by 15 seasons at MK Dons, I have been preparing myself to take this next step - I am very motivated and determined and I can’t wait to get started.
“Together with the Chairman, Liam and Russ, we have put together a structure that we believe can take MK Dons forward. Within that, I will be looking to drive a high-performance culture across the Club and providing everyone with the chance to be the best they can be.
“It feels like there is a lot of momentum building here and we want to capitalise on that. We will have tough and challenging times ahead but, along with our fantastic supporters who will hopefully be back inside Stadium MK, I am confident we can continue moving forwards.”