IAN BUTTERWORTH has joined QPR as the club’s Scouting Coordinator, replacing the departing Kevin Cruickshank.
Butterworth, a former defender who represented Coventry City, Nottingham Forest and Norwich City, is looking forward to his new role.
“This is a big challenge and I hope I can assist Ian Broomfield (Chief Scout) in bringing the right type of player to the club,” Butterworth told www.qpr.co.uk
“There are good people at the football club, and you can’t get a better manager than Harry Redknapp.
“Everyone will be pulling together next season and my job will be to search for players, identify players, and then present them to Harry.
“I have a team of scouts that I will need to organise. At the moment there are six or seven involved with the club who are based across the UK and some parts of Europe. We’ll be looking to put them in the right areas to cover the games and players that we want to see.
“There are good people behind the scenes and good players already at the club. Let’s hope we can build a team to challenge next season. That’s what the manager wants and he is working around the clock to do his best, and we’ve got to make sure we back him up.”
The 49-year-old, who has enjoyed assistant manager spells with Darlington (1998 – 2000), Cardiff City (2000 – 2004), Hartlepool (2006 – 2009) and Norwich City (2009), believes the arrival of Financial Fair Play has placed greater importance on teams to have a successful scouting system.
“If you look across all the clubs now, there’s a strong scouting network in place,” he adds. “Players cost a lot more these days but you don’t have to spend lots of money because there are players out there who can develop under the coaches at the club.”
Butterworth says player acquisition is a difficult business where as much research as possible is vital.
“Obviously, to a certain extent, every signing is a gamble,” he admits. “But what you’ve got to do is your due diligence. That’s the important thing. If you do that, it’s more a calculated risk than a gamble.
“When a club gets relegated there is obviously a turnover of players and the team has got to be rebuilt. That’s football, players come and go. Hopefully we can find the right ones for the manager and he will be presented with a list to pick from.
“You’ve got to look into every aspect of a player. And if the manager wants a ‘certain type,’ then we’ve got to make sure we find players who have those qualities.”
Redknapp, and Chairman Tony Fernandes, have spoken on a number of occasions about bringing the ‘right sort of player’ to Loftus Road. And Butterworth fully understands the requirements they’re after.
“We all love to see the artist who can thread a pass through and the great goalscorer, but you need experienced soldiers in the Championship,” he says. “And that’s got to be sprinkled with youth and athleticism. You’ve got to get the right balance.
“But character is vital. You want people who want to play for the club and who want to be successful.”