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Matt Crocker Appointed Saints Director Of Football
Tuesday, 26th Nov 2019 18:00

As predicted on this site earlier today Southampton Football Club has appointed it's former academy head Matt Crocker as it's Director of Football operations.

A statement released by the club shortly after 5pm said.

Southampton Football Club is delighted to announce the appointment of the Football Association’s Matt Crocker as its new Director of Football Operations.

Crocker, who will begin work at Saints in early 2020, has been an influential figure in the development of the national blueprint that has led to a period of sustained success for all England age groups, both men’s and women’s, across a number of years.

Before moving to The FA in 2013, Crocker worked for seven years at Southampton overseeing the club’s academy and pathway into the First Team, with the emergence of the likes of Gareth Bale, Luke Shaw and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

He also oversaw the Academy as it became one of the first to achieve the prestigious Category One status in recognition of the quality of its facilities and the number of players who have progressed to first-team level.

Crocker will now return to the club to oversee the development of every aspect of its football operations, and develop every department that supports all of the club's teams.

Chief Executive Officer Martin Semmens said:

“The Southampton Way is at the very core of everything we do here at the club, with a strong focus on our player pathway into the First Team. For our club to be successful going into the next decade, within an increasingly competitive Premier League, we must seek to strengthen our pathway and further develop every detail of our football operation.

“Matt was the outstanding candidate in Europe for this role, head and shoulders above anyone else, as he brings deep experience and knowledge to the club, but also a history with The Southampton Way.

“As Head of Development Teams at The FA, Matt was responsible for elite player and coach pathways through all teams, and was one of the key architects of the England DNA project. This created a framework and culture that has led to the success we see today through all age groups with the national team. This experience and knowledge will help our club develop further our excellent track record in player and coach development, and give us the best opportunity to be successful now and in the future.

“We are convinced this appointment will lead to greater success on the pitch in the future, and will help bring back the true ‘Southampton Way’ with a fresh and innovative leader in charge of our football operations.”

Saints fans will hope that the above statement proves to be true, the only doubt is who at the club sourced the appointment, Crocker becomes the only senior member of the board who actually has any real experience in the game, so the worry is that he has been appointed more because of his history than his actual experience.

Having said that he is experienced in his field and will bring something to the club, although he will not officially take up his roles until the new year it would be strange if he does not start to have some input into the running of the football side of things now.

Hopefully he will see that the coaching structure is shot to pieces at the moment at both first team level and at U23's after the departure of Raidi Jahdi who was moved sideways on a secondment.

Saints took a step forward today, hopefully it will not be the last and there will be many more.

Photo: Action Images

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1970 added 20:15 - Nov 26
While filling any vacant position at saints at the moment can only be an absolute god send this appointment has that cheap option about it, what next asking lawrie mc to come back as ralphs assistant, this guy knows saints and must have fondness for us so wouldn't be a costly option something that the saints board will be fully aware of
I hope it all works out but the results wont be immediate which is what we need.

no7saint added 22:18 - Nov 26
I think this could be a decent appointment looking at his record, certainly the current batch of youth players coming into the England first team prove that the pathway is a great success, so if he's been instrumental in that we could see the Saints academy producing the goods like it used to. Plus he did a similar role here years ago with the likes of Bale and Ox coming through so clearly is strong in this area.

True, it may not bring instant results and there are plenty of other areas he'll need to cover but this is a good start. Hopefully an assistant for Ralph is up next.

KriSaint added 23:15 - Nov 26
Obviously Ross Wilsons replacement and wellcome to him. Now we need a good assistant manager for Ralph so Richard Kietzbichler can concentrate on being a video analyst which is his area of expertise if I have understood correctly.

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