Ambler confirms Millwall's plans to overhaul scouting set up

© Keith Gillard
© Keith Gillard

CHIEF executive Andy Ambler has revealed that Millwall's new scouting system will be loosely based on the example set by Everton.

As revealed by NewsAtDen two weeks ago, the Lions have made chief scout Jamie Johnson redundant as they "freshen up" their recruitment strategy.

Millwall will move away from scouting in the traditional sense and focus on data collection and statistical analysis of potential targets, overseen by assistant boss Mick Harford.



"The new methods that we are going to put in place were not previously seen as a priority," Ambler said.

"Kenny Jackett moved the academy forwards but it could be in years to come that we find out we should have gone down a different route and invested more in scouting.

"We are going to invest a little bit more but that money will go towards building a database and an analytical approach, rather than having a chief scout – we're not going to recruit one.



"Mick is going to head it up alongside Dan McLoone, who does our video analysis, and Dan is going to bring someone in to help him. We're looking at companies who can help us get a database up and running.

"It is a good idea to freshen everything up. Jamie did well for us under Kenny in that era. We will be investing in infrastructure – for instance, we'll need a new server and a load of new computers, so there will be a capital outlay. This is a more targeted approach to scouting."

And Millwall hope to take a leaf out of the Toffees' book.

Ambler added: "Everton have one of the best systems – we've been looking at them for the past few years.

"When David Moyes was at Everton, we were fortunate enough to use their training facilities a few times under Kenny, so I took the opportunity to sit with their staff and understand how they do things.

"That is a very, very well run Premier League club that has recruited extraordinarily well without matching the big clubs financially.

"Naturally they'll have more people and more resources than we do, but it sees to me like the logical way to go and a lot of other clubs are doing exactly the same.

"If we can reproduce a version of what Everton do, we won't go far wrong."

While Harford will not be alongside Steve Lomas in the dugout on a matchday, Ambler says the 54-year-old will remain assistant manager.

He said: "Steve hasn't mentioned to me that he wants any more members of staff – Neil Harris, Tim Breacker and Kevin Pressman are all in the dugout, so it is not like we are short in that area.

"It was a good thing that Mick was on the bench for the first few games to give him an understanding of how Steve works.

"It's a logical progression. When Mick came in, we knew that recruitment might be an area for him to move into – he's very passionate about scouting."

Staff

(@NewsAtDen)

35 thoughts on “Ambler confirms Millwall's plans to overhaul scouting set up

  • November 20, 2013 at 14:46
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    This would have been the perfect opportunity for the club to get an experienced assistant to help Lomas.

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  • November 20, 2013 at 14:49
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    Mick Harford can use a computer?!

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    • November 20, 2013 at 18:37
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      @jamie: xbox maybe, but a pc, nah!

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      • November 20, 2013 at 22:20
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        @glyngo:
        Well at least he knows how to pick up a glass!

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  • November 20, 2013 at 14:58
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    Well when it comes down to the bare facts Harford is the club's new scout with computers, Ipads, and telephone. How can character be assessed that way? How can the club find schoolboys with potential? Still if it works for Everton no reason not to give it a go.

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    • November 21, 2013 at 00:26
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      @Peckhamlad: you just answered your own questions.

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  • November 20, 2013 at 15:05
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    This sounds a lot like the scouting mode on Football Manager

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  • November 20, 2013 at 16:05
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    Hopefully a few young players coming in ? Neil Harris type from non league will do !

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  • November 20, 2013 at 17:19
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    'He's very passionate about scouting', our very own Baden-Powell.

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  • November 20, 2013 at 17:21
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    Sorry but this sounds like we need to save a few quid so lets cut the scouting budget same old wall im afraid

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    • November 20, 2013 at 18:39
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      Totally disagree, this is an innovative idea that has been successfully implemented across numerous sports and in football. Worth a go I say

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    • November 21, 2013 at 00:28
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      @bazzer: look to the future not the past.

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  • November 20, 2013 at 17:25
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    Why dont we just hack into Everton's and save ourselves a fortune.
    Happy days.

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  • November 20, 2013 at 17:55
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    Wot a load of old b******* how the f*** can u get good young players on a data system. Is that wot ambler gets up to on his iPad Iam sure that's argainst the law.

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    • November 21, 2013 at 00:30
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      @block 28: everton have so could be good

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  • November 20, 2013 at 18:20
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    I'm sorry but can't see hwo this will work, so defenders will be based on clean sheets,midfielders-assists, and forward-goals, can't see what else u can keep track off, more money down the pan imo, I grew up around millwall,and there are so many talented young foot ballers its unreal, and that's on the doorstep, I grew up with 4ppl playing at championship level or above, and I woulda been the 5th at blackburn, if I hadn't found alcohol and women whilst playing for them, point is that group of players all lived within 2-3 miles of the stadium, if we can't find talent on our doorstep we got no chance finding some around the country, back to basics,watching young footballers on a saturday/sunday, and going into the schools in the local area, that will cost a lot less then setting up "a new server,buying aload of computers,and designing a new data base sytem", thing AA is just doing up his home and trying to loose money, COYL saturday, need to beat barnsley!!!

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    • November 21, 2013 at 08:05
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      @dan85 deptford millwall:
      Totally agree. My nephew plays at a decent level and knows a few players from our catchment area that all play for different football league and premier league clubs such as jake reeves who is at brentford, released by us, Moses odubajo who is at orient getting rave reviews and lives in downham, released by us, Matt parsons at palace was released by us, marcel barrington a young lad at Stoke was released by us. 3 of those lads have all had plenty of 1st team experience already before the age of 21, the orient kid playing every week and scoring goals too. Makes you wonder who was making these decisions. There's loads more that end up, up north at clubs like derby, Birmingham etc that come from south London. Needs to be sorted.

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  • November 20, 2013 at 18:34
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    FFS someone go to the club shop and buy our "scout" a wooly hay and some gloves the lazy cunks!

    How on earth are you going to uncover talent without visibly watching players on a football field.

    More so, what stats can possibly give you any idea of their attitude?

    More b***** under the SL era!

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    • November 21, 2013 at 00:36
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      @bonnie1272: yea blme lomas again,if you read the article above this has been in the pipe line since kj, thats before lomas came on the scene, even before kj ran out on us leaving us with a lot of crap players. blme lomas for his own actions but not for what others do.

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  • November 20, 2013 at 18:39
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    I'm sure old Les would have had a good take on this idea!

    If only he hadn't deserted us!

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  • November 20, 2013 at 18:44
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    I can't say that it will definitely work but I have hoped we would try this for some time. Not sure it should completely replace traditional scouting but we probably can't afford both.

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  • November 20, 2013 at 18:59
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    Just an excuse to buy new computers. If this was any good anybody that plays football manager get apply for the job. It's another reason for ambler to make himself get air time.

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  • November 20, 2013 at 19:46
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    A progressive move in my opinion.
    That looks uncanningly like a syrup that Harford is sporting, so maybe he didn't want it blown onto the pitch. Much safer in an office.

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    • November 20, 2013 at 20:12
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      I agree, can we not give the club some credit? It appears some of our fans are always negative. If it is something new to a few a it is load of old "b*******s, if they dont seek alternatives to advance, it is same old Millwall. Give it a try, if don't work, try something else. However, scouting a future starlet or a seasoned professional in the flesh is paramount, but if the system cuts down the expense then I am all for it.

      As they say COYL

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  • November 20, 2013 at 20:03
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    I think it's a forward step - well any change in our scouting system has to be an improvement in my opinion - loans aside the past few years we've not got anyone in who's outstanding or has huge potential so it's worth a go... Everton's academy produces some great talent so that's a good blueprint

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  • November 20, 2013 at 20:14
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    Where is old les ? Come back were missing you !!

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  • November 20, 2013 at 20:25
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    Les is out scouting for fruit and veg.

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  • November 20, 2013 at 21:17
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    So we have saved some dough by getting rid of our scout and then blown it all on a load of laptops, Did we get them from rodney trotter and did we get lomas off of ebay?

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  • November 20, 2013 at 23:07
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    Think this data base, is a not only searching for new talent, it's also to watch opposition,for strengths and weaknesses, so we can train our team to for individule games, for tactical advantages, good idea in theory, hope it works to be honest, got to be better than it was IMO .

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  • November 20, 2013 at 23:36
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    On another subject after Barnsley it's Leicester , forest, Wigan , if we don't win on Saturday it's up us !!

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      • November 21, 2013 at 09:06
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        @jim1222: just the 49 years, season ticket since 1978, that's probably why I worry .

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  • November 21, 2013 at 00:42
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    what happens is the data points you into the direction of a promising player,then we look at him in the flesh if hes good we make an offer if not we dont.get real millwall is trying to modernise,so get real look to the future ,because we aint had much success of late with the old way of doing things.

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  • November 21, 2013 at 07:47
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    WERE IS LES!

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  • November 21, 2013 at 10:19
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    We shouldn't be looking at any English club's scouting system as a blueprint - none of them work as the lack of instinctive ability and basic football intelligence in our national team testifies. Let's find out how the German clubs operate to recognise talent and do it that way. Simple.

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