Cook turns attention to recruitment

Paul Cook is working to put a good scouting system in place at Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler
Paul Cook is working to put a good scouting system in place at Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler

PAUL COOK is confident he’ll soon have a restructured Pompey recruitment set-up in place.

The Blues boss has demanded a network is quickly operating to ensure the Blues are finding the best emerging talent in the game.

Cook stated the process of putting together a scouting structure is now an area he is focussing attention on.

Putting together a squad capable of challenging for League Two honours has been the 48-year-old’s priority since landing the Pompey job.

Now that is nearing completion Cook feels he is able to look at other areas.

Pompey have been without a head of recruitment since Andy Melville departed in May as the managerial change brought a turnover in staff.

Cook said: ‘We have the first team up and running.

‘Now we need to settle in terms of recruitment.

‘It’s a bit remote in terms of getting to games down here. Watching games in the midlands and north west is easier. It’s easier to nip to games.

‘Recruitment here is something we need to engage and remodel.

‘We’re looking at that side of things at the minute.

‘We are actively putting the scouting in place at the minute. That’s huge.

‘We’re going through the stages of bringing people in. It’s all in process.

‘I do think we need to find players.

‘It’s a merry-go-round of the same players and we need to break that cycle.

‘That’s something we have to do.’

The need to ensure there are eyes and ears at games on Pompey’s behalf is obvious.

But having scouts with the nous to unearth talent, where others pass it by, is something which makes getting the right team in place key to Cook.

Cook said: ‘There are certain ages lads develop.

‘If you look at our younger ones. A lot of them go out on loan. A lot of players have poor loans before they develop.

‘If you look at the striker at Swindon for example, Michael Smith, he had a couple of poor loans early on. But he’s a player.

‘These are the ones you need to be on. We need to be on to them as quickly as possible.

‘These are the things we are looking at and setting up criteria to do it.’

Meanwhile, Cook has admitted to making an error in binning Pompey’s reserve-team set-up earlier this summer.

The Scouser explained he made the decision on the basis he thought he would be operating with a limited squad.

But he currently has 24 players at his disposal and has spoken of how he’s impressed with Pompey’s emerging talent.

Cook said: ‘I’m actually disappointed I got rid of the reserve team if the truth be known.

‘I didn’t think we’d be as strong in depth as we are.

‘I thought we’d be short of numbers and need everyone for games.

‘I certainly got that one wrong but it’s something we can pick up on.

‘It’s not the end of the world. We’re actively sorting games out.

‘That’s something we’ll do.’