Stuart Harvey and Kristjaan Speakman react as Sunderland appoint new head of player recruitment
Stuart Harvey says he is relishing the chance to implement an ‘innovative model’ at Sunderland – having been confirmed as the club’s head of player recruitment.
Harvey joins the club from Blackburn Rovers where he was the Championship side’s head of club talent identification and player analysis and fills the void left by former recruitment chief Tony Coton, who left the Academy of Light last summer.
His appointment is the latest in a string of changes made by Kyril Louis-Dreyfus since his arrival on Wearside, with Sunderland’s footballing structure having been almost entirely rebuilt.
Harvey will help Sunderland implement their new data-led recruitment model and will work closely with Kristjaan Speakman, Lee Johnson and new head of data and analysis James Young.
And the Northern Irishman, who also previously worked with Burnley, is looking forward to the chance to make his mark on Wearside.
"To be a part of the infrastructure the new ownership is putting in place is an honour,” he said.
"Sunderland AFC is steeped in history and tradition, but we also have a blank canvas to implement an innovative model that promotes sustainable, long-term and evidence-based recruitment across the Academy and First Team.
"There are far too many people to name who have helped me throughout my career, but I would like to place on record my gratitude to the staff at Blackburn, and in particular the ownership and directors, Tony Mowbray, Mark Venus and my recruitment team, for the trust they placed in me and the outstanding support they provided.
"I am looking forward to the challenges ahead and I am incredibly excited to get started.”
Sporting director Speakman added: “Effective player recruitment is pivotal to our strategy and its vital that we create and develop an approach that takes every age group into consideration.
"Stuart will lead on all aspects of player recruitment and we are delighted that he has chosen to join our project – he will be instrumental in the creation of our player recruitment strategy.
"We are seeking success and sustainability and this area of our football operations will be crucial for us as we strive to achieve these things over the long term”.