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Millwall to hire U21 manager and new scouts this summer

© Edmund Boyden
© Edmund Boyden

MILLWALL are poised to expand their coaching staff this summer in a bid to make the club more professional.

Chief executive Andy Ambler has confirmed that an U21 manager to oversee the Lions' development squad and additional scouts are high on his priority list.

But he insists that Kenny Jackett's old backroom staff, namely assistant manager Joe Gallen, first team coach Tim Breacker, goalkeeping coach Kevin Pressman and chief scout Jamie Johnson, all have futures in south London.

"We do want to build on our coaching staff," Ambler said. "Joe, Tim and Kevin are all part of our team at the moment and the new manager coming in will have to evaluate what he wants going forward. But I do think we need to add to that because we've been a bit thin.

"There's definitely scope to get an U21 coach in, because we haven't really set things up in the right way to allow Scott Fitzgerald to concentrate more on running the academy. That definitely needs looking at.

"Over the last 12 months, one area of criticism has been recruitment. That's not to criticise Jamie, but that's another area we need to strengthen. We feel the new manager needs to focus closely on recruitment and implement an improved system for bringing players in."

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

37 thoughts on “Millwall to hire U21 manager and new scouts this summer

  • June 6, 2013 at 14:07
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    Now we're talking.

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  • June 6, 2013 at 14:09
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    Maybe Ambler is our new manager? He seems to be making all the footballing decisions - can't be any worse than he is as Chief Exec.

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  • June 6, 2013 at 14:28
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    Who's Jamie?

    "Over the last 12 months, one area of criticism has been recruitment. That's not to criticise Jamie, but that's another area we need to strengthen"

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    • June 6, 2013 at 14:36
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      @T-Bag: Jamie Johnson, Chief Scout

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      • June 6, 2013 at 17:26
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        @junkmale: chief scout cause he's the only scout

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  • June 6, 2013 at 14:30
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    Yeah but Ambler said we had quality and outstanding applicants for the managers job and look what we have got.

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  • June 6, 2013 at 14:44
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    Andy A is very busy from Portugal today, thought he may be at a meeting or on the golf course over there, as Micky says he does sound as though he is managing the club now, regading the old coaching team at the den, Andy has said that they have futures in south london, but he does not as what though.

    Yet again desions are being made that any new manager would normally be making, so when we do say who it is they will not have a back room staff of there choosing, which could cause future problems (maybe KJ can help out by taking a few but he has not as of yet).

    I have got to say the job will be tough eneough for the new manager, but things like this will offer him excuses if things are not going too well in the near future so AA you look after the board room and let the new manager/coach look after the foobal side of the club.

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    • June 6, 2013 at 15:23
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      @Barnlion: My reading of Ambler's comments as quoted above is not that Lomas is being forced to keep Gallen et al on board, but that they will stay if Lomas wants them to. In any case, the idea that the first team manager should be some kind of all-knowing, all-powerful figure is outdated. Look at the way West Brom, Swansea and many others are run now: the academy and recruitment are managed separately from the first team. That doesn't mean that the manager can't have a say in things at all, but that he isn't the only one making big, risky decisions.

      I think the board have got a lot of unwarranted stick in the last few weeks. People have legitimate complaints about some aspects of the club, but the football side is going in the right direction. The redevelopment of the academy, the improvements in training facilities, etc. weren't solely down to Jackett. The comments from Ambler show that the people running the club are aware of our weaknesses and are trying to do something about them. Surely this can only be a good thing?

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      • June 6, 2013 at 15:50
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        @stanley: Stanley that's your reading and you are entitled to it, but mine is different from yours, you may have a point regarding managers not being all knowing but those who do get involved normally find sucess.
        Maybe this follow could be what is required for our club only time will tell and the proof of the pudding is in the eating (that's enough of those) Regarding the Ambeler comments there was not a hint of investment in the first team but whats new.

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  • June 6, 2013 at 14:51
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    Im normally very quite to critise AA but this is probably his saving grace, if he pulls this off and gets the right people in then all will be forgiven, forget talk of managers we need to start from the bottom and without recruitment we will never progress and only move backwards.

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  • June 6, 2013 at 14:59
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    Hopefully the jigsaw all comes together.

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  • June 6, 2013 at 15:00
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    Come on chaps, enough cynicism now. These are good noises coming out of the club. Admittedly the question of how we got into this situation could be asked, but they have obviously looked at the club root to branch and decided to address it. Who knows, maybe Mr Ambler reads our posts or the FOB has voiced our opinions and had some sort of impact. There again they probably worked it out for themselves. After all JB runs a successful outfit over the pond doesn't he? Maybe he's decided to have a real go with the club and invest in every aspect of it and not just the first team. I think this is a real forward step so let's give them some credit.

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    • June 6, 2013 at 15:07
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      @Swanny: & Banksy agree with you both, that this is what we should have been doing for years like other clube have been doing, but my point was that the manager should be sorting this, not a CEO as the manager is the guy who will over see this and set the budgets and offering the ones who make the grade a contract.

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      • June 6, 2013 at 16:00
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        @Barnlion: maybe its all part of the master plan, whos going to want to manage a club with a poor youth set up and a bleak future, kennys last season was the beginning of a downward spiral and now were doing what we should be to pull us in line with others

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  • June 6, 2013 at 15:15
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    I'd rather these positive announcements were made after the appointment of the new manager. Well done JB.

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  • June 6, 2013 at 15:48
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    Maybe this is a sign that we can go back to the days where we could bring young players through the ranks to play in the first team like Ifiil, Reid,Sadlier,Cahill, Neil etc. This would make it a worthwhile investment because we would save a fortune in transfer fees.

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    • June 6, 2013 at 16:07
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      @denslions: Not only saving money on paying transfer fees, but if you add up the money we got for selling those players it was a regular life-saver for the club.

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  • June 6, 2013 at 16:08
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    Andy Ambler is making all the right noises and ringing the correct bells. Much like the official line coming out of the club prior to the new manager appointment. So let's wait and see.

    Would be nice to see rehired a bloke the club got rid of years ago (pre Ambler I have to say) who's forgot more about youth football than most of them will ever know. Got rid of by the club, a South London born Millwall fan now very high up in the youth system of another London club far far more successful than this one.

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  • June 6, 2013 at 16:33
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    I'm going to keep my mouth closed about our scouting system/community scheme etc etc as I could probably break the record for the longest post on here if I get started!! Just before anybody asks I am speaking from my experience of them!!!

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  • June 6, 2013 at 17:25
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    More like it AA, finally you've come to your senses.
    Good bit if uplifting news after yesterday's surprise.
    The good thing about this is, the club are doing all they can to support SL by giving him the necessary tools to help him do his job a little better, we've probably got FA money to spend on players so I guess this is the next best thing.
    Will be a huge step in the right direction if it actually happens.

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  • June 6, 2013 at 17:44
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    About blooming time! We have gone from a very successful youth system, to the total opposite. It annoys me immensely as someone who lives in SE London to see Fulham Academy signs up at local schools, less than a couple of miles from Millwall's training ground. In addition, I am heavily involved in a Youth league, and each year at the finals, Charlton, Chelsea and this year Norwich scouts were in attendance. Never have I seen anyone from Millwall. How many players are we missing out on?

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  • June 6, 2013 at 18:06
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    Cheer up you miserable lot.
    You moan that the club haven't invested or produced players in the last couple yrs well how could they in league one? Now we're championship for fourth season we can now afford to try and bridge the gap. Pls try to remember that youth football has gone through a change in the last couple yrs and we ourselves have changed the set up to an academy. We now know where we stand and the rules that come with it so I think the club have done and are now doing the right things behind the scenes. I really don't know what all the fuss is about tbh.
    Very good and sensible move

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  • June 6, 2013 at 18:25
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    When Bob Pearson, brought in by Gordon Jago, was the Chief Scout he built up a good scouting network but always had the final decision and did not warrant interference from the manager even John Docherty. Jago recognised the necessity of building up from the youth because of the club's limited finances. His vision paid off later when eventually Millwall won the youth cup and many names went on to help take the club into the first division. There were a few who escaped the net though, including a young Ian Wright, (too skinny) Leroy Ambrose and Paul Davies.
    So it makes common sense to try to rebuild a strong youth set up again.

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  • June 6, 2013 at 18:37
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    I think its great that the club are investing in areas which clearly are weak, however as long as we actually see the benefits of it all i.e Communication between Under 21 coach and Lomas (when he takes over) and the youth team players being used correctly and given the opportunity in the first team squad if they are performing well.

    As far as another scout goes, that's brilliant for the club, there are so many players all round the country and abroad who clubs like us miss out on, getting someone in to help Jamie could be the answer to actually signing players without transfer saga's like we have seen in previous years i.e. Chris Wood.

    I must say I'm feeling a lot better about the club going forward today than I have been the last week or so, things are falling in to place (albeit slowly) and hopefully but the time the 1st team are back in pre-season we'll have heard more about transfers and Lomas would have settled in.

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  • June 6, 2013 at 18:42
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    Perhaps we got it all wrong and Lomas is here to do U21 🙂

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  • June 6, 2013 at 19:49
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    Looks like we're all finally wearing our professionall hats in the boardroom.
    Nothing's happened yet but credit where it's due for the forward thinking. Now, a wee peep at the commercial department wouldn't go amiss.......

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  • June 6, 2013 at 19:52
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    It needed doing obviously BUT are we taking from Peter to feed Paul? These things cost money, money we have NEVER been liberal with anyway and if these investments take away from squad improvement (that is needed more than ever) then I feel that it will be a few years in League One in order to see the fruits of our belated labour down the line.

    Just saying.

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    • June 6, 2013 at 19:57
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      @JonnyBanks: exactly things cost money and you dont get that in league one, can we really afford to drop down without plugging the money drain first? JB wont be there with his hand in his pocket all the time, ill take 2 seasons of struggling in the championship to finally get the money needed to have a youth academy to rely on, hate to say it but the ideal model for this is the anoracks and the nigels

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      • June 6, 2013 at 20:04
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        @banksy: I said that when Palace won at Wembley. Their template is the one to follow. They do have a massive catchment area for talent but they don't fear bloody their young AND they command excellent fees and deals when they sell whereas we historically sell on the cheap and mug ourselves.

        (Cascarino, Sheringham, Thatcher, Kennedy, Neill, CAHILL, Morison....... The list goes on.

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  • June 6, 2013 at 20:11
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    So SL has agreed but won't sign until he comes back from holiday next week.
    Woooo hoooo

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  • June 6, 2013 at 20:15
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    Lomas confirmed as new boss!

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  • June 6, 2013 at 21:20
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    Sounds like the club is getting some structure!

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  • June 7, 2013 at 19:20
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    Just what we want to hear, getting a good structure deep down into the club. Something KJ neglected badly. ..... AA is not as daft as some think , he can see just as well as us the player recruitment side especially loan signings was very poor.

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