'He could make a big difference for us' - McKenna on Town's new recruitment chief

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna.

Ipswich Town have appointed a new recruitment chief to work with Kieran McKenna - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

Manager Kieran McKenna believes the appointment of a new recruitment chief could ‘make a big difference’ at Ipswich Town. 

The Blues have brought in Sam Williams from Manchester United as their new head of recruitment, as the off-field team at Portman Road continues to evolve following the club’s takeover a year ago. 

Williams, who has worked as a first-team recruitment analyst at Old Trafford for three years, will begin his career at Ipswich on April 11 as the club ramp up preparations for what will be a vital summer transfer window. 

“I know that it’s an area of the club that the club has been looking to develop and wants to develop considerably over the next couple of years and could make a big difference for us,” McKenna said of Williams’ appointment. 

“From my point of view, it’s another hungry staff member. A good age to still progress in his career and he wants to develop in his career but has already has had a wide range of experiences at a very young age. 

“He has had experience at different levels throughout the game and in conversations with him you can tell how hungry and how proud he is to come to the football club and to make an impact. 

“I think he really fits the bill for what we’re developing here behind the scenes and we’re looking forward to having him start. I think he’s going to be a key part of the club here behind the scenes as we develop the club going forward.” 

Though McKenna and Williams worked alongside each other at Old Trafford for several years, the Town boss has stressed the two do not know each other deeply, with the hire understood to have been instigated by Town CEO Mark Ashton. 

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“Sam’s obviously someone I know from Manchester United but not very well, to be honest,” former United assistant McKenna said. 

“I wasn’t deeply involved with the recruitment team and the recruitment side of things at United and with the last couple of years of Covid, the recruitment team has worked from home while the training ground has been pretty much exclusively for the first-team coaching staff and players. 

“He’s not someone I’ve had a deep relationship with. Martyn Pert (McKenna’s assistant) was more involved in that side of things at Manchester United and had a good relationship with the recruitment analysts there and thought very highly of and had a good relationship with Sam.” 

Having initially graduated with a degree in 'Management and Leisure' back in 2009, Williams went on to complete a masters in 'Performance Analysis in Sport' at Salford University.

Following academy scout roles at Sheffield Wednesday and Bolton, he initially joined Manchester United as a 'Performance Analyst' in November 2017 before promotion to the first team set-up came in December 2018.