Bradford City turn to Stephen Gent to assist Mark Hughes's summer overhaul as new head of recruitment
Former Middlesbrough head of scouting Stephen Gent has been appointed to a key supporting role in Mark Hughes's summer overhaul of Bradford City.
Gent has been appointed as the club's new head of recruitment.
Hughes was heavily involved in the lengthy recruitment process which led the Bantams to Gent and it seems clear he will lead the way in reshaping the squad, but Gent will have an important job to do in filling the gaps in his knowledge.
The Bantams are the first team Hughes has managed outside of the top division or international level. His long-term assistant Glynn Hodges has worked at League One level with Wimbledon and most recently Doncaster Rovers, who he joined days before the end of the last transfer window and left in February to link up with Hughes again.
Gent's 10 years' experience with Championship Middlesbrough may therefore not seem ideal, although one of his many roles was as the club's loan manager.
He also filled scouting, coaching and analysis roles at the Riverside.
“We took our time with the appointment and are really pleased Stephen is on board," said Hughes.
“He has great knowledge of all levels of the footballing pyramid, and we were all struck by the insight Stephen has into the character of players, which will be important in ensuring we get the right ones through the door.
“Stephen has lots of enthusiasm for his job and loves what he does, which is great because you know you will always get 100 per cent, and we are looking forward to working with him.”
For his part, Gent stressed: “I have been at Middlesbrough for over 10 years and worked in a lot of different roles, which gives me a varied background and a lot of knowledge and experience.
“It is about sitting down with the manager and coaching staff and outlining what we want in terms of a playing philosophy, which we have to be aligned on.
“It is important we get it right in terms of the mentality and key characteristics of players needed to play for Bradford City, first and foremost."
The Bantams are preparing for a fourth consecutive season in League Two. Despite lofty ambitions and huge crowds, they have not so much as made the play-offs since dropping back into the fourth tier, and their last promotion was nine years ago, when they were last at this level.
This was supposed to be the season that changed with the appointment of Derek Adams and yet another overhaul of the squad but the Scot was sacked in February, days after overseeing significant recruitment in the January transfer window. Hughes is the fifth manager of mangerial team the Bantams have had since being relegated from League Two.
The Welshman has won only four of his 12 games in charge, losing five, and has one to play, at home to Carlisle United on Saturday.
City are 14th and highly unlikely to finish higher but 18th-placed Carlisle could overtake them with victory at the weekend.
However the 13 games have given Hughes plenty of opportunity to assess his squad and with most out of contract in the summer, big changes can be expected with Gent's help.