Chelsea overhaul scouting network

Michael Emenalo, Chelsea's recently appointed technical director, has appointed a new head of international scouts.

LONDON // Chelsea have continued their overhaul of the club's scouting department by appointing Scott McLachlan to a newly-created position as head of international scouts.

A specialist in statistics-led performance analysis, McLachlan moves from Fulham after being hand picked by Michael Emenalo, Chelsea's recently appointed technical director.

One of Roman Abramovich's most trusted employees, Emenalo has also elevated Mick Doherty, from a position monitoring the under 20s for Everton, to a role as Chelsea's European scout and given Alfie Apps a £75,000 (Dh452,024) per year position in his department.

Apps had intermixed periods scouting for West Ham United and Aston Villa with work as an unlicensed agent.

Chelsea overlooked the candidacies of Arsenal's Steve Rowley, Norwich City's Ewan Chester, and Tottenham's Paul Senior; all well regarded in their field.

Chester, formerly the chief scout at Rangers and Fulham, will instead take up a new position heading Birmingham City's recruitment this week on the request of their manager Chris Hughton.

Emenalo's predecessor, Frank Arnesen, had a troubled time in the role. In late 2008 the Dane was forced to dispense with 15 scouts from his lavishly-funded global network, and ultimately resigned his post having failed to unearth a single regular starter for the first team under the age of 21.

Arnesen's chief scout, Lee Congerton, was put on gardening leave before following him to Hamburg.

A former Nigeria international, Emenalo, was brought to Chelsea by Avram Grant in 2007. Though Grant was dismissed as manager, Emenalo cultivated his relationship with Abramovich, who made him assistant manager last season in place of Ray Wilkins. The underqualified Emenalo's previous coaching job had been with a girls team at an Arizona football school. He was made Chelsea's technical director in July.

"I'm going to be supporting the manager [Andre Villas-Boas], and working with him in making sure that things run smoothly," said Emenalo upon his appointment. "I have the responsibility to direct and manage our scouting structure internationally and domestically, and to keep an eye on and assist the progress of the Academy.

"We have been gradually reducing the quantity of our scouts, and also trying to improve the efficiency of the system."

sports@thenational.ae

Published: August 30, 2011 04:00 AM

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