Steve Gallen on recruitment plans for this summer

Charlton's Director of Football Steve Gallen


Charlton’s Director of Recruiting, Steve Gallen, is focused on a busy few months ahead following Wednesday’s appointment of Ben Garner as men’s first-team Manager on a three-year deal.

As well as playing a role in the appointment of Garner, the 48-year-old has been working on the Addicks' plans to add to their squad during the summer.

He told CharltonTV: “I have had so many players lined up, warm, that I have been talking to and had Zoom calls and meetings with. Now that we have got Ben in, we can push that along. I have already had conversations with him about potential players, and he is really keen as well.

“Even today [Wednesday], we will be having quite a few discussions about where we are going to move to.

“We need a few in. We have lost a few players this summer. Hopefully, we can strengthen the team and do a lot better than we did last season.”

Gallen joined Charlton in 2017 and has seen a lot of change during his time at the club.

He said: “A few years back it was pretty much just me, when Lee Bowyer was here, it was just me and Lee. We didn’t have much support and there wasn’t the finances. What has changed since Thomas has come in is we have a recruitment team now, we have analysts at the club working at the training ground every day, we have scouts going out to matches every Tuesday, Saturday and Friday for the U23 games. We have a committee of myself, Martin Sandgaard, the Owner [Thomas Sandgaard] and now Ben Garner.”

Garner joined the Addicks on Wednesday and spent part of the day with the trio discussing targets already identified and looking at potential additional options.

The club has a focus on playing attacking football on the front foot all the way through the academy to through to the men’s first team. Gallen explained that the club’s recruiting is now focused on that specific Charlton style.

He said: “If you changed your manager every year and this manager wanted these seven or eight players and then the new manager comes in and he wants seven or eight different players it takes a long time to turn that around getting them out or in. 

“The club’s philosophy, and I have been a big advocate for this and [Academy Director] Steve Avory has as well, there should be one philosophy going through the club, we want to be a team that plays through the thirds, we want to be an attacking team, a team that passes the ball and creates chances, scores goals. Swindon did that really, really well last year and so many of the stats prove that. In terms of bringing in players, for me right now I think we need some defenders in the team, the fans will know that, some defenders have left and we need to bring some in. But what type do we bring in? Do we bring in big stoppers? Maybe, or ball-playing centre halves, if the style of play is going to be playing through the thirds then we need to bring in ball-playing centre halves. It makes it easier for me, I can articulate that for all the staff, ‘this is the type of player we are looking for’ it stops me getting sent players that just don’t fit the system, we have a lot of players on our shortlist right now and I am looking forward to sitting down with Ben and saying ‘who do you want?’.”




(Transcription by Alex Forrest)

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