Burton Albion appoint former Derby County scout as head of academy recruitment

Burton Albion academy have appointed Paul Gaskin as Head of Academy Recruitment ahead of the new season.

Gaskin, who has previously worked as a scout for Derby County and coached in America, and his team will be responsible for finding local talent to join the Academy as the club look to produce the next generation of Burton Albion players.

He replaces Paul Plant in the same role, who stood down at the end of last season.

The set-up is evolving rapidly, with the appointment of another full-time member of the academy in former Nottingham Forest midfielder David Freeman earlier this month, and obtaining the use of St George’s Park for all of the academy’s age groups.

The likes of Joe Sbarra, Jayden Cotterill, Ben Fox, Matty Palmer, Marcus Harness and Calkum Hawkins have all been included in the first-team for their pre-season preperations – showing that the academy is producing first-team talent.

Added to that a fledgling under-18s side that have so far recorded pre-season victories over Reading, Crewe Alexandra and Nottingham Forest – and it’s clear to see the academy is heading in the right direction.

Which in turn has allowed them to add to their pool of staff, including Thursday’s appointment of former Rams scout Gaskin, who is keen to keep bringing players through to the first-team.

“I am really excited about stepping into the role,” he told the club website .

Academy graduates Joe Sbarra and Ben Fox

“I have known Dan (Robinson) for a long time and he has got some really good ideas and the same sort of ethos that I have got so I am very excited about getting everything in place and building the scouting network.

“Our main goal is to have players come through and play in the first team.

“In terms of recruitment, it has always been quite a small team recruiting for the academy from one sort of area, so my initial focus is about getting out there, letting people know that the academy is about, raising the profile of the academy and getting people on the ground watching local football and bringing good quality players into the club.

“It is massively important (to develop local players).

“We are competing with category one academies in the area who have millions of pounds to spend on it.

“There are a lot of good players in the area who are currently playing grassroots football and are good enough to play in academies and it is just about finding them, it is so important to do that.

“The ethos of the club is about developing local talent.”

And Academy manager Sam Rose stressed that the key to finding local talent is having those qith the capabilities and knowledge of the local area.

A training pitch at St George's Park
A training pitch at St George’s Park

“The recruitment department of our Academy is vital for the future of our club,” he added.

“To ensure we have the best local talent with us we first need to have a talent ID team out there watching players in the local area.

“Through the hard work put in last season by Paul Plant, we now have a solid platform for Paul Gaskin to work from and continue to build strong links with our Burton Albion Community Trust who are so well entrenched in the local schools and clubs.”

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