Villa have appointed Michael Henke as our new Head of European Scouting.
Henke is formerly the assistant manager to Ottmar Hitzfeld whilst at Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, before taking up the reigns of analysis and scouting at Bayern in 2008 when Hitzfeld left.
So he clearly has the experience and is in the funny position of now being managed by one of his former players in Paul Lambert.
Taking up the role of Head of European Scouting, Henke will head up our European network in an overall structure that has been developed since the time of Gerard Houllier. Many fans will remember both he and Paul Faulkner talking about the total overhaul of our scouting regime and developing a network that would best benefit the club.
Speaking to the Official Site following his appointment, Henke said.
'This is a similar role to one I held at Bayern. Our objective will be to identify young players who have a good future and a good mentality. The Bundesliga, for example, has very good youth academies but our analysis of players will include other leagues, including the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Croatia, France, Spain and other countries. By definition, this is an extensive exercise. It's not always about good technique but it's also about the right character and what is required overall to be a successful players in the Premier League. It is not always about young, emerging talent either - also players with experience who will be motivated by the challenge and who we believe will bring the right qualities to Aston Villa.'
It looks like Henke has been gearing up for the role for a while as he also talks about his shared friendship, and ideals in football between him and Paul Lambert, aswell as visiting Bodymoor Heath several weeks ago. He's also already taken in West Ham's friendlies against Dresden and Cottbus so he can provide advice ahead of our Premiership opener against them.
The domestic end of our scouting database is being overseen by Patrick Riley with Gareth Payne overseeing the analysis of opposition players.
Sounds like the plan is really starting to come together now on building us a proper overseas scouting network, which will in the long run see an end to overpaying for domestic players as we'll be getting - you would hope - the cream of the crop from abroad.
Scouting Forum Thread.
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