Albion already working on next window
ONE transfer window may have closed – but Albion already have their plans and targets for the next two windows underway.
The club signed 11 players during the summer in a major overhaul of the first-team squad but one of the key figures of the recruitment drive, Richard Garlick, says the restless search for new talent does not end here.
Albion’s Director of Football Administration has been at the heart of the process which saw the club complete one of its largest ever Premier League summer in-takes.
“But the process is constantly evolving and moving forward,” says Garlick. “We already have our plans and thoughts for the transfer window in January and even next summer. That is the way it has to be.”
Technical Director Terry Burton, who heads the football management, has overseen the transfer planning with Garlick fronting the negotiations and Head Coach Alan Irvine playing a full role in target-selection.
It is a partnership which continues to represent “the Albion Way” first introduced seven years ago and Garlick believes it is now in positive working order.
“I get on very well with Terry,” he says. “Terry has got the gravitas and the acceptance on the football side of things to speak with Alan and the coaching staff.
“When things may have slowed down in the window or not been happening too quickly, Terry is able to go and say 'Listen guys, we are doing this, this, this and this'. It's not just me saying that from the board’s point of view - they accept it if Terry says it because it's football.
“From that point of view that relationship has worked really well.
“And Alan and his coaching staff are very professional. They didn’t want to just spend the money for the sake of it.
“They wanted to check everything out thoroughly and make the phonecalls.
“Alan is well connected as are Rob (Kelly), Keith (Downing), Terry and myself, and we have people we know in the industry to take soundings from.
“It has been refreshing to have a different set of eyes looking at it. Someone who has come completely from the outside looking at a recruitment point of view how we do things and understanding how the decisions that get made in the recruitment department can then affect what happens on the football side of things as well.
“Having only ever worked as a coach he has seen it from a different point of view how hard it is to put a deal together.”
And Garlick is optimistic Albion’s thoroughness will ultimately prove rewarding.
“The players have the right mental characteristics,” he said. “They will come in, they work hard, want to be coached, they are not going to be trouble in the dressing room. We have got a good group.
“If you have got a good group of players, good coaching and facilities then it's really down to them to deliver.”
Chairman Jeremy Peace has been delighted at the Burton-Garlick-Irvine partnership and believes it has delivered.
He added: “I think we still need to impress upon people how this club is run. I believe it has served us well and can continue to do so.
“As chairman I don’t want to get delving into Mark (Jenkins’s) area because he is running things as the CEO, Richard is in charge of the football administration and Terry is the technical director in charge of the football overall.
“Strategically, I’m involved in terms of where we go with the club, how it’s run and how we implement all our plans.
“If Terry, Richard or Mark want to discuss something that’s fine and where possible I will try to offer support. Hopefully that’s how it’s worked in the summer.”