Andy Scott was appointed as the club’s Technical Director on Wednesday, bringing a broad knowledge from more than 30 years in the game as a player, a promotion-winning manager and a successful senior executive in football.
The 50-year-old began his professional footballing career as a Premier League player for Sheffield United and as a senior executive played an important role in developing clubs such as Brentford and Swansea City and most recently playing a part in Nottingham Forest’s promotion to the Premier League in 2021/22.
Charlton have made six signings for the men’s first team this summer and combined with the development of academy players, the side looks a very different one to the one that started last season.
Speaking to CharltonTV, in the first of his regular updates, Scott said: “The priority is to get the best team we possibly can on the pitch by the end of August. You know, we’ve come in very, very late in the window – the club have made some excellent signings. We need to continue that and maintain that progression and the excitement around it. I think naturally everyone’s excited about a new season, fans and players and staff alike, with the new takeover.
"Hopefully we can build the trust with the fans and they can see what we’re trying to do and that we’re very open and honest, and we know that it’s not going to happen straight away, we know that we’ve got to earn that trust. If we can be consistent in what we do and open with everybody, get a good window under our belt and then we can start doing the work that needs to be done to take this club where we think we can take it.
"Primarily, the priority first of all is to make sure Dean [Holden]’s got the best possible team on the pitch to enable us to have a strong campaign and challenge at the top of the league.”
The role of Technical Director is one that has become more and more important in football over the last 20 years. He explained “It’s quite a broad role, overseeing the football operations for the men’s and women’s first team, the academy, supporting Dean, Karen [Hills] and Steve [Avory], and just helping everybody achieve what our goals are and trying to be successful.”
Scott said his role, overseeing the footballing departments, will allow the managers of the first teams and the academy the opportunity to focus on doing what they do best.
Asked about his aims at the club, he said: “Clearly we want to get promoted, I think that’s no secret. We’re not going to start claiming big claims or saying what we’re going to do, but we need to get promoted. This club needs to get into the Championship. We’ve got a lot of work to do, obviously coming in late before the season starts.
“We’re finding a lot of stuff that we need to deal with straight away and there are priorities, there are things that we need to deal with now before the window shuts. But obviously, there are longer standing things that need to build foundations for this thing be successful.
“The academy needs a bit of TLC. Steve and his staff have done a fantastic job but probably need a bit of help and support and guidance on areas, and the same will go for Karen and the women’s team and the men’s first team equally, whether that’s staff, whether that’s resources, whether that’s advice, good practices, processes put in place.
“We need to build a strong foundation – to build any house you need strong foundations and we need to make sure we put those in place to make sure that the club is sustainable and got the ability to compete at the top level for a long time.”
Scott will be part of an experienced senior management team alongside Managing Director, Jim Rodwell, and Group Finance Director, Ed Warrick, with a Director of Performance to be appointed.
He explained why a Director of Performance was important: “It’s something we had identified in January, not just for the first team, but certainly for the academy as well in terms of sports science, strength and conditioning, and medical and the support that all out staff need.
“We’ve got ideas about the type of the person that we want to bring to the club and he or she will have a role that sits over the whole of performance aspect, as well as mental, psychological, there’s a lot of things that are covered by performance. But it will allow me to concentrate on the football side, and that person will be able to concentrate to get the most out of our athletes and the performance side from our younger players, and establishing strong processes and practices that they can take into their daily, weekly work so it gives them their best chance of getting to the first team and they know what’s expected of them when they get into the first team. So it’s a big role, it’s a really important role.”
Scott held his new role for a number of weeks between December 2022 and February 2023. He said that has helped him settle in. “It’s eased my transition today where I’ve come in, I know the people, I know a lot of the staff, I know how they work, I know their relationships, and you can get to work straight away knowing that you’ve got some good people around here, and you know how they work and you know what support they need.”
Scott will continue to provide regular updates throughout the season.
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(Transcription by Sam Joseph, photography by Paul Edwards)