Doncaster Rovers confirm appointment of new head of talent identification

New Doncaster Rovers head of talent identification Graham Younger has a list of potential transfer targets primed and ready as he begins working at the club.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 10:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 10:57 am

Younger was appointed last month to replace Adam Henshall - who left to join Aston Villa - but has been tying up loose ends in his previous role as an agent before his job with Rovers was confirmed.

He has also been throwing himself into the new role and is eagerly awaiting the appointment of a new manager at the club so recruitment can begin in earnest.

“I’m sitting on my hands a little bit now,” he said.

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New Doncaster Rovers head of talent identification Graham Younger

“We’ve got a shortlist and identified targets. We’ve got players in place that we want to go and speak to.

“We’re obviously finalising the last stages of the manager recruitment now so once the new man is in place it will be all systems go.”

Younger is likely to see the new manager arrive in the next few days and is looking forward to building a relationship.

“It’s vitally important we get on and we’ve got to sing from the same hymn sheet to fulfil the club’s aims and objectives,” he said.

“We need to bring players in to play the Doncaster way and match up to the club’s philosophies.”

Having graduated from the University of Central Lancashire with a degree in sports coaching, Younger picked up experience in the north west with the likes of Preston North End, Blackpool and Blackburn Rovers.

He then joined Bolton Wanderers where he spent almost three years as an academy coach and analyst.

Younger then moved to Cardiff City in 2011, initially as a performance and recruitment analysis before being appointed head of recruitment in 2015, with the Bluebirds going on to win promotion to the Premier League.

For the last Younger has been an agent with OmniSports and feels his experience across multiple roles will be valuable as he starts life at the Keepmoat.

“I think it’s massively helped and it’s a combination of everything,” he said.

“Nowadays, modern day recruitment is very different to what it was ten to 15 years ago.

“Long gone are the days of the old fashioned scouts with their black books standing at the side of pitches writing down names that no one gets to see.

“It’s a different role now, one that encompasses everything I’ve done in the past.

“The analysis, using data and statistics and a scientific approach as well.

“And it’s coupled with, where possible, live scouting at games.

“In the head of recruitment role and as an agent and intermediary, I have experience of the negotiating side of things.

“I’ve been on both sides of the table.”

Younger has closely examined the Rovers squad as he begins his work on recruitment and is pleased to see the club looking to the future having tied down some of the younger players.

“That comes from talking with the staff that’s already here and the people upstairs, like Gavin [Baldwin, CEO],” he said.

“I think it’s good to see a lot of the younger players given contracts recently and it’s testament to their hard work and a reward for them.

“Hopefully we’ve got some good foundations to build from.”

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