Lifting the lid on Ipswich Town’s recruitment and transfer secrets
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Ipswich Town have, according to manager and players alike, their strongest squad in years. STUART WATSON spoke to director of football Dave Bowman and Head of Performance Analysis Jordan Miles about the secrets behind the recruitment process.
While others his age play at football scouting on computer games, Jordan Miles does it for real at Ipswich Town.
The 26-year-old is head of performance analysis at Portman Road. His role primarily entails putting together video packages of the Blues’ latest display, as well as clips showing the strengths and weaknesses of up-and-coming opponents.
But, more recently, he has been brought into the inner sanctum of player recruitment.
“I went to Nottingham Trent University and did sport and exercise science,” explains Miles. “There was a module on biomechanics which led on to observational analysis of technique in team sport. “The job I’m doing now wasn’t something that, at the time, I even knew existed. Then I went and got an internship at Derby County for a year and, when I graduated, I was recommended to Paul Jewell here. I actually started on the Monday after we lost to Peterborough 7-1!”
Miles continues: “Initially my role was just pre-match stuff and post-match stuff. Last summer was when Dave (Bowman) and the gaffer got me a bit more involved in that side of things and Kevin Bru was one of the first signings that I was involved with having a look at.
“Then, this summer, was the first time I was right in the thick of it.”
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Miles uses the online Wyscout database to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to the hundreds of players that get recommended.
“I know that no-one has ever been signed just because I’ve said I like him – I’m just one small part in the process,” he says.
“Am I nervous when players I’ve put forward come here on trial? Not really, because I’m in with the manager and TC (Terry Connor) every day reviewing footage and I like to think I have a pretty good idea of what the manager is looking for.”
Bowman, the club’s director of football and head of the scouting operation, adds: “All decisions are made in this room and backed by everybody in this room. He’s surrounded by some very experienced people though and whatever decision is made in this room is backed by everybody in this room.
“I’ve been telling him that I haven’t had a holiday for 20 years in this business. This guy got engaged on his holidays this summer and he was still responding to stuff I was sending him.
“It is a 24-hour job and the summer, in this side of the job, is the most important time of the year.”