The club is delighted to announce that current manager James McDonaugh has agreed to become our new Sporting Director.
Since taking over as manager in October 2017, James has developed a side that was deep in a relegation battle into promotion and title challengers; finishing third in his first full season in charge, improving to runners up in last years campaign, curtailed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to his role as first team manager, James has also been overseeing the youth section of the club, providing consultancy and guidance to the various coaches throughout the organisation and strategising the pathway from youths up to the under 20s.
As part of the club’s strategy moving forward, the decision to create the role of Sporting Director was taken in consultation with James and it became clear early in those discussions that the position would be an ideal fit for both him and the club. As a UEFA Pro License holder, James will continue to bring his expertise to all aspects of footballing activity at the club while at the same time providing a level of continuity not typically available when creating a new role.
On the news of his new appointment, James commented:
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the last three and a half years representing the club as Manager and now I can’t wait to begin my new role as Sporting Director. The board has a lot of ambition and ideas to move the club forward and I can’t wait to help and be part of it in the future.
I’d like to thank my backroom staff and all the players that have played in this period as well as the great support we have received as a team from fans, volunteers and sponsors. The current squad are more than capable of being promoted this year and I wish them the very best as they have been a pleasure to work with through mostly good times but also these recent difficult times that we’ve experienced.”
Chairman Jim Brown was similarly delighted with the move:
“Everyone at the club is delighted that James has accepted the role of Sporting Director. Over the past few months the club has been working tirelessly on various projects that will allow us to continue our development both on and off the park. Our long-term ambitions can only be enhanced by having James in this new and exciting role as his knowledge and experience will be invaluable to the board.”
Uniquely, one of his first tasks will be to help the club source a new manager and the club will be making an announcement on that process as soon as possible.