Former City defender lands senior role at Wolves
- Credit: Archant
Former Norwich City skipper Matt Jackson has joined Wolves to become English football’s first Strategic Player Marketing manager.
Wolves recently advertised for the role, which is about marketing academy players for loan moves or first team players the club wants to move on.
Jackson, who made 500 appearances during a 17-year playing career has landed the role after proving his expertise in other senior roles, notably at Wigan where he fulfilled a number of posts including head of recruitment, academy manager and head of football operations.
Since leaving the Latics in 2017, he has been a football consultant for IMG and also ran his own company, which mentored young and professional players.
Now he is returning to club football and said: “To be able to work for a Premier League club and one that is very well run and progressive is huge for my point of view.
“This is also an area I have a lot of experience in with the roles I’ve been in previously; areas that have become interesting to me over recent years and areas we’ve identified that clubs haven’t necessarily made a priority previously, which fit perfectly with the different skillsets I’ve got.
“A huge part of what attracted me to the role was that it was entirely new and a chance to shape a role and a department going forwards that can support so many other elements of the football club.
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“There are many different ways that players leave football clubs, right through from the lower levels of the Academy, all the way up to commercial sales from the first-team.
“Obviously, it’s very different if you’re dealing with a nine, 10 or 11-year-old leaving the Academy, a 16 or 17-year-old going off to university in America after completing a spell at the football club, or being sold out of the first team.
“The club has a responsibility to the welfare of its players and their families, and we want to do the very best by them as we can. But we also have a commercial responsibility to the football club, and my role will be blending the two, hopefully seamlessly, for everybody.”
Jackson, who made 172 appearances for City over a five-year period from 1996, will be using his contacts throughout the game to get some of Wolves’ academy players out on loan in the same way loans manager Neil Adams does at Carrow Road.
He told Training Ground Guru: “Loans are a very important part of the players’ development, as we’re seeing with the later ages that players are beginning to make their debuts at Premier League level.
“When deciding on a loan for our players, it’s vitally important that we identify the football culture that will help them. We have vastly experienced coaches here at Wolves, many of whom have been in the game an awful long time and played a lot of professional football themselves, so understanding the specific needs of the player is also crucial.
“It might be that players now have multiple loans for different reasons. The first loan might just be to get the experience of a first-team dressing room and the environment and not necessarily play a lot of first-team minutes.
“Then the second or even third loan might deal with the challenges of playing a 40-plus game season and dealing with promotion issues, relegation issues, playing in front of big crowds; all of the things we want our players to be getting used to before making a Molineux debut.”