Barker wants scouting system in place

Richie Barker. Picture: Joe Pepler
Richie Barker. Picture: Joe Pepler

RICHIE BARKER has made installing a scouting network at Pompey a priority.

The Blues boss believes putting in place a proper structure for watching and analysing players is a key issue to attack.

Pompey are slowly putting firm footings in place in their first full season since exiting administration.

The club have been able to call on a host of figures and contacts throughout the game when it comes to looking at players.

But they have yet to put a permanent system in place – and Barker wants that sorted.

Football Executives’ Darren Simmons has played an important role as player recruitment consultant along with chief executive Mark Catlin.

Barker’s arrival as manager, along with assistant Anthony Williams and Steve Coppell, deepens the football knowledge and contacts at the club considerably.

Catlin revealed Pompey explore every avenue when it comes to looking at players – even following up tip-offs from fans. And he hopes unearthing a ‘gem’ of a player will help finance putting a thorough scouting system in place.

Catlin said: ‘I get fans email every day who say this player or that player is available.

‘We follow it up. That’s what we do.

‘Invariably, though, when you go back to the manager he is aware of them and had them looked at.

‘Everyone knows everyone in football and Richie knows what is going on.

‘I know Richie is keen to bring in a proper scouting network as opposed to using scouts ad hoc.

‘It’s an area he is looking to beef up and we will discuss that as a board.

‘Recruitment is key but we are always looking for a gem.

‘That will then pay for a scouting network in one deal.’

Catlin believes a lack of scouting structure has played a role in unsuccessful signings made at Pompey this season.

But he pointed out there were also likely to be misses as well as hits when putting a completely new squad of players together.

Catlin said: ‘There was nothing when we took over. Zilch.

‘Then we came out of admin weeks before the season started with no team.

‘We had Adam Webster, Dan Butler and Ash Harris and that was it.

‘We had to rebuild from scratch.

‘There’s a big learning curve and not a lot of clubs have had to go through that.

‘It’s not a case of getting four or five in and four or five dropping out.

‘The chances of making a mistake is limited in that situation.

‘When you sign 20 players the chances of making a mistake increase.’