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INTERVIEW: It's a very thorough process

1 June 2015

Head of recruitment Lee Dykes on getting new players into the building

Head of recruitment Lee Dykes spoke to us about what is a bury period as the work continues behind the scenes to get ready for the 2015/16 campaign.

“My phone hasn't stopped ringing,” he said. “It's a busy time of the year because players are finding out their futures at different clubs and we're also looking at the targets we highlighted as soon as we walked into the football club. 

“We had a short, medium and long term vision. The short term was obviously to secure the league status and, having done that, it means we can now look for the type of player the manager wants to bring into the building. 

“We were always confident we would stay in the league. It probably took us a little longer than we anticipated but we were always confident and, as I say, it now means we can get on with the next part of the job.” 

“We started to plan our activity fairly early,” he explained. “The summer months are a busy time but we started a lot of the discussions months and months ago. 

“We’ve had a process in place for getting new players throughout that time. The way it works is that the targets don't get to the manager unless I’ve seen something I think he’ll like first. He puts a lot of trust in me that way and we work well together. 

“Once that’s happened I'll go to the manager, and Colin West, and we'll form an opinion. We always have five or six targets for each position, which we'll then trim down. It's not just about ability, it's a case of experience and how they'll work with the people we've got in the building already. 

“Again, once the player is passed on to the manager he likes to meet them in person. He wants to know he can trust his players and face-to-face meetings usually tell him whether or not he can do that. It can take up to three meetings for him to know he’s got there with that side of it as it’s not something he likes to rush. He won't do anything unless he's absolutely certain.”

“As you can see, a lot of hours go into getting a player into the building to sign a contract,” he told us. “As things come to a head you tend to forget about the early work you did. 

“For me, I watch a player and do a report, and I look at his age, experience and what stage of his career he’s at. It starts to ramp up once you've been through all of that. We do more due diligence and seek references from players and previous managers, so we know everything about his background. 

“It’s a very thorough and in-depth process but, in the long term, it should mean we’re in a much stronger position.”

The second part of this interview will appear on the official website on Wednesday morning.

United Player subscribers can see a video interview with Lee Dykes now. Click HERE to go to the Player platform. Follow the same link for more information on United Player, and to subscribe.

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