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Technical Director - Steve Round

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Re: Technical Director - Steve Round

Post by Trotters on Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:49 am

Xia has confirmed it's Steve Round.
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Re: Technical Director - Steve Round

Post by AstonThriller on Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:24 am

Yep all confirmed on the official site

ROUND APPOINTED AS TECHNICAL DIRECTOR

Aston Villa Football Club is pleased to announce the appointment of Steve Round as Technical Director.

The Club is delighted to have secured the services of highly-regarded Round, who has a wealth of experience in top flight football with a 26-year career in the game.

Round, from Derby, has previously worked for England, Manchester United, Manchester City football services, Everton, Newcastle United, Middlesbrough and Derby County.

The 45-year-old officially starts in his new role this morning and will be based at the Club’s training ground Bodymoor Heath.

Owner and Chairman Dr Tony Xia said: “I’m pleased to welcome Steve to Aston Villa. It’s an appointment I believe will be hugely important for the long-term global vision of the football Club.

“I’ve discussed at great length with Steve during meetings the way in which I’d like to see the 21st century football Club move forward and he has the same ideas and principles.

“This role will play a fundamental part in how we drive the football Club forward with data and technologies playing a central role in how we not only scout new players but also make the best of the talent we have at Bodymoor Heath both at first-team level and throughout our academy teams.”

Chief Executive Keith Wyness said: “The Technical Director position is one that is a vital role for the future of Aston Villa. With Steve we have over 20 years of Premier League experience with a black book that is the envy of many.

“Just as important is his vision for the way the club will start to recruit and develop at all ages throughout the club. His recent studies for an MSC in the Technical Director role showed his dedication and desire to develop this role and we believe he will be an instrumental part of the team.

“We look forward to Steve joining the new team and helping us move Villa back to where it belongs. He is a key part of the change we are bringing to Aston Villa.

Manager Roberto Di Matteo said: “I’m delighted to welcome Steve to the football Club.

“It’s an important appointment for Aston Villa, a role that focuses on both the present and future and I’m looking forward to working with him.”

Steve Round added: “I am absolutely delighted to join such a great club with a superb support and historic tradition.

“The Technical Director role is something I've been working towards for a long time and once I had met the owner and seen his vision for the club I knew I wanted to be a part of it.

“There is a lot of hard work ahead but with the support of the Chairman and Keith Wyness, the expertise of Roberto and his excellent coaching team I am sure Aston Villa will re-establish itself as a highly successful football Club."
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Well good luck to Mr Round. Can't argue with his CV can you? He's got experience at youth, reserve and senior level as a coach, has been at lower level clubs like Derby, then went to the highest level with Man Utd. He's been involved in Champions league and Europa league games and he's also got international experience with England.

Then you factor in his role as a Man City in a consultant too, it all looks very impressive. The proof will ultimately be in the pudding but I have high hopes for the guy. I mean not many technical directors have this wealth of knowledge and experience so this can only be a good thing for us.
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Re: Technical Director - Steve Round

Post by Villa_Dan on Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:26 am

Imagine if Lerner had employed the likes of Wyness and Round instead of Faulkner and General Disarray...
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Re: Technical Director - Steve Round

Post by Dions_Bald_Head on Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:02 pm

@Villa_Dan wrote:Imagine if Lerner had employed the likes of Wyness and Round instead of Faulkner and General Disarray...

His 'pay peanuts...' philosophy ran from players to manager to board.
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Re: Technical Director - Steve Round

Post by BillytheKid on Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:22 pm

I honestly believe we are the new Man City from top to bottom these type of appointments are only made and accepted by top staff positions like RDM SC KY SR the lot of them joining a championship club is bizare i know we are Villa but the project they all keep mentioning is obvious we are really going to go for it and be in the market for top players once we get back in the Premier League, am i seeing too much and going a bit OTT? I honestly don't think so and soon we will be in the Champs league as Dr T says all the time, he wouldn't make these claims if we wasn't going to be going to be in for top players,

Signing players for £15 million in the Championship is serious and the net spend breaking records and outspending Premiership clubs galore, really excited and the best thing Lerner ever did here along from the Milner Ash Carew Barry Stan years was sell us to Dr T
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Re: Technical Director - Steve Round

Post by avfc forever on Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:14 pm

Welcome Steve to Villa Park.
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Re: Technical Director - Steve Round

Post by Villa_Dan on Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:51 pm

1st day on the job and Paddy Reilly sacked.

Boom!
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Re: Technical Director - Steve Round

Post by Dions_Bald_Head on Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:27 pm

@Villa_Dan wrote:1st day on the job and Paddy Reilly sacked.

Boom!

Out of interest, anyone know what Paddy's been doing? Was he involved in any of the transfersite?
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Re: Technical Director - Steve Round

Post by Trotters on Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:41 pm

I saw on the side panel that Xia has had a dig at Paddy and Gabby in one tweet. So it seems that, with regard to Paddy, there's more to it than having an idea (Moneyball) that failed to deliver. Sounds like he's also been acting the cock*

*Ive not read any more other than Xia's 140 characters so might have it wrong.
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Re: Technical Director - Steve Round

Post by Saunders82 on Fri Sep 02, 2016 3:36 pm

@Dions_Bald_Head wrote:
@Villa_Dan wrote:1st day on the job and Paddy Reilly sacked.

Boom!

Out of interest, anyone know what Paddy's been doing? Was he involved in any of the transfersite?

I bloody hope not, but from what I have read all the low release clauses were his doing, what a nob, report
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Re: Technical Director - Steve Round

Post by AstonThriller on Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:37 pm

Gonna be really interesting to see how Steve gets on. Has everyone seen his interview on AVTV yet? If not there HERE it is.

Personally I think our scouting network and academy need to be improved. If he can make an impact in those departments he will have done well.
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Re: Technical Director - Steve Round

Post by Trotters on Sat Sep 03, 2016 3:18 am

Speaks well and was obviously persuaded into the Villa project by Xia.
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Re: Technical Director - Steve Round

Post by KMitch on Sat Sep 03, 2016 4:29 pm

One thing he mentioned that I agree with is that Villa needs to define and cultivate a culture at the club. Under Lerner, there was no stability in our philosophy between managers, and it was a large part of why we ended up in the Championship, while clubs like Swansea and Southampton have flourished. Losing a key player or a manager isn't a big deal to them, because they already have 3-4 more candidates waiting in the wings who have been vetted and are in the same mold as their successor. Welcome aboard, Steve! Hopefully you can help establish some more stability around Bodymoor Heath.
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Re: Technical Director - Steve Round

Post by DaveAV1 on Sun Sep 04, 2016 6:55 am

Apparently Reilly had nothing to do with this summer's recruitment campaign and RDM wouldn't let him anywhere near the process. This appears to be backed up by what The Big T has said recently and when he first arrived.

I think we're a proper football club again, run by people who realise what the words Aston Villa Football Club mean. We're back in the game and about to make everyone sit up and take notice.

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Re: Technical Director - Steve Round

Post by Trotters on Sun Sep 04, 2016 7:38 am

I wonder if his missus is still working for the finance dept?

We seem to have a really good mix of football people, football business  people and business people.

A sea-change from the last few seasons where Lerner has chances,  clowns and corporate-speaking blow-hards.

Xia has made it clear that he values the opinions if the fans and I wonder how much he read on forums prior to buying the club to get a view of events from the people who count most? Whilst it's clear he's an astute business man and much of what he's done is common sense, it seems that he's ticked just about everything from the supporter's the wish-list of the last few years. And I can't believe that's purely off his own bat.

It's on total contrast to Lerner and Fox who were obviously of the opinion that, die to their wealth and experience, they simply knew better than anyone else.

Xia has his finger on the pulse of the business and the fans, Wyness is obviously a very tough negotiator, RDM an experienced manager and now we have Round.

He'll be the one person who you would hope will be influenced not by the fans but by the best clubs in the world, the best tech people, the best trainers and coaches and the developing football environment.

It really does sound like a very very good mix of people.
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Re: Technical Director - Steve Round

Post by Saunders82 on Sun Sep 04, 2016 11:37 am

There is only one way for us from now on UPWARDS, it may take a little time to light the engine but once the rocket lights Over the head Over the head
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Re: Technical Director - Steve Round

Post by deadbuzzardalive on Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:26 am

Posted on Villatalk, from meeting with fan groups

' Could you define your role and key responsibilities?

We have the owner, Dr Tony Xia, and the CEO Keith Wyness they needed someone who was going to be in charge of the football performance for the club. Performance comes under many issues as you need someone to try and align all the departments at the training ground. So, my remit is working with the manager, the first team coaching and together, oversee the coaching methodology of the club – right the way through from senior players down to six/seven year olds and to get that aligned as the ‘Villa engine’. I answer to the CEO and the owner so when he comes in this week we will be discussing the progress we have made. Innovation and change is important in our evolution. We have re-done all the organisational/structural/recruitment strategies. I’ll liaise on this between Steve, the CEO and the owner.



What was your involvement in the managerial search?

Both Keith and I were heavily involved in the manager search. That was a really interesting one because I submitted ten candidates and we carried out due diligence on all ten. There was a statistical and data analysis research project which I consulted out to a data analytics company. It’s a company I knew and trusted the guy who was running it. They looked at all performance aspects of the managers. Everything from win ratios, win percentages, style of play, social media personality, character - everything. The number one target on my list was Steve Bruce. When the manager search came back it was a forty-page document and the number one recommendation was Steve Bruce. It was excellent fact to back up our instinct and advise the Chairman – this is our one to six from that ten. In the end, we went with a recommendation to the owner. The owner made the decision and went with Steve.



The previous recruitment policy concerned supporters – how have you rectified it?

I made some tough decisions on my first day and changed some personnel. That's never easy but I felt it was the right thing to do. I have brought in Ian Atkins to head up European recruitment. I worked with Ian at Everton, he’d worked at Sunderland and Everton as head of European recruitment for eleven years. His knowledge is incredible and he’s got a fantastic work ethic, he’s an ex-player and manager, he’s a pro license coach and a proper football man - he's also a big Villa fan! I also promoted Tony Coton to head of domestic scouting. Tony, again, has a wealth of knowledge in football at the highest level both as a player, coach and scout. We have kept on Dave Downes as head of U23 recruitment. There are some really good people here already who just needed help and guidance. I brought in a guy called John Harrower who worked at Nottingham Forest, Derby County, Newcastle – quite a few clubs. He’s come in as scout coordinator so his role and responsibility is to make sure all the scouts report in to the database and we collect all the relevant information. We’ve changed a lot in this department and we’re getting there. I’ve only been in three months but we are moving in the right direction.



What are your thoughts of moneyball – using data to sign players?

We’ve brought in real football people and we’ll mix that with one or two of the guys that have the analytical/moneyball data that you hear about which is a bit of a bone of contention to me. The moneyball thing came about because of baseball and that’s very statistically developed – like cricket. But football is always in a state of chaos. On any given day, football is a random, human, fluid game, so data and analytics only back up the instinct of the people looking for the talent. And I think football has gone away from that. They’ve gone too analytical and too data-minded and a lot of people are paying the price for it. You’ve got to get back to the real people who matter. scouts identify the talent and data backs that up. Villa is a massive club with high expectations. Our scouts with a massive knowledge on football need to know that a particular player is capable of thriving at our club.



What about the future of the club – the academy and bringing young players through?

I’m also working with the academy and the head of department Sean Kimberley – who I must say has done an outstanding job on the resources and the neglect he’s worked under in the past few years. David Hughes has left the Welsh FA and will come in as U18s coach. We’re interviewing for a head of medicine in the academy and we’re interviewing for a chief scout for the 10-16 age group. We have no scout there which is incredible. We’ve done a deal with the local team – Phoenix - who bring a lot of local boys through. All the best young players in the city need to be coming to Aston Villa. Villa always used to have one of the best academies in Britain so we need to take the city back, then we need to take the Midlands back then we need to be competing nationally with the best. We’ve got such a good catchment area and such a good facility. Historically, Villa has led the way in youth development and we need to get back to that.



Other changes you’ve implemented?

Sports psychology and culture is massive now in modern elite sports. I have brought in Tom Bates from Brentford who now heads up that department. Sports psychology in football has been a bit of a taboo. People have doubted it - does it work? But every other sport takes it and uses it massively. The advent of neuroscience has now dictated that psychology is real and is measured and it’s appropriate to many issues but sport especially and I wanted somebody in because I sense that

Aston Villa had lost its way a little bit culturally in the training ground environment. People are positive or negative depending on the results and the situation but I felt internally we needed to rediscover what Aston Villa really is. It’s a football club not a "brand" or "commercial tool". I wanted that heartbeat to come back but I also recognised that there’s a hangover after a few years of decline so we needed to flip that mentality. I did a search nationwide to find the best sports psychologist/performance coach that I could. It happened to be Tom – he had worked at West Brom, Bournemouth, Birmingham and he was currently at Brentford so I was really pleased to get him. He’s had a massive impact. Not only with the players individually but just the resonance of the training ground - that was important. Confidence is building.



What other new faces are in the training ground that we’ve not heard much about?

I’ve just brought in Danny Donachie who has got a tremendous amount of experience and is an outstanding individual. I had worked with him previously and recognised his qualities. Then you’ve got the club doctor, physios, fitness coaches and performance analysts that deal with all the data for training and games down to the masseurs. That’s a very important part of first team performance. They’re looking after the medical welfare, the physiology and athletic ability of all the players. I’ve brought in Steve Harrison that used to be a coach here a few years ago. He’s arguably one of the best defensive coaches in English football. He comes in one day a week and works with the U18 and U23 defenders and anybody Steve Bruce wants him to touch base with in the first team. He also scouts games for me on a Saturday. He just loves it and he’s been brilliant around the place. We’ve also taken a guy called Dave Stewart from QPR. We’ve promoted some analysts from within too. That’s important that the staff that are already in situ get a chance.



Will the manager have the final say on all players signed by the club?

There won't be a player signed that Steve doesn’t know about or have the final say. He is the fundamental decision maker. The recruitment department is set up for him to see the best players to select from. He and his staff also watch a lot of games and form the final part on player selection. The manager has enough on his plate managing the team, the players the staff, the media and the fans. If you look at our training ground we’ve got 60 that work there, then there’s the academy it's a massive job. I’m quite keen to keep people motivated, inspired and challenged as they need to feel a part of something special so as long as we’ve got the right people in doing the right job then I am happy. I have a great relationship already forming with Steve so together I believe we are moving the club forwards

The other thing is performance analysis – the analysts film training and I make sure they can provide the level of detail that the coaches need. For example, last week we’d sat down at the start of the international break and had said we’re not scoring enough goals from set pieces – that directive came from the manager, to be fair. So we had a meeting to look at how we could improve on scoring from set pieces. Everyone was throwing in suggestions about set pieces and what could we improve. We’ve now come up with a criteria. The goal at Brighton came from the performance analysts looking at the opposition. Every club is doing that – more detail is always needed and we’re going to do it in as much detail as possible.



Are you happy that the coaching staff around the manager will give us the best possible chance of achieving success on the pitch?

I’m delighted to get Colin Calderwood in as assistant manager. I’ve known Colin for a number of years on the circuit. He’s a top coach and an outstanding professional. I think he’s going to be a massive asset to us. Coupled with the other guys we’ve got – Stephen Clemence who is a young, up-and-coming coach who is soaking up everything and forging a strong reputation. He is good in the dressing room as he's not long out of it, so it’s a nice balance now. Gary Walsh is an experienced coach too. He’s a football man born and bred. The manager has been a breath of fresh air. The training ground resonance and atmosphere is starting to feel positive and confident. In our turnaround there will always be the odd set back - it's football - but the training ground feels right at the moment.



What about the future in terms of building a structure on solid foundations?

I’ve not had enough time yet to be able to establish a methodology and a Villa engine – the style and the way we’re going to play. It’s been about short-term re-building and making sure the foundations and building blocks are in place. We’re going to start the process of coming up with a ‘Villa way’ and the Villa strategy on the pitch. Obviously the manager plays a fundamental part in that but we also want to build something that’s sustainable. In the future the way we do things needs to be right. Villa has always been a hard-working, tough, aggressive, forward-thinking, forward passing, dynamic club. I used to bring youth teams in the late 80s/early 90s to Villa and they’d spank us every week! it would be the hardest game of the season. The kids were talented and hungry, I think maybe we’ve gone away from that. We’ve got to get some of those basics back and then evolve the rest of it as we go. I’m pleased we have Kevin McDonald and his assistant Mark Delaney with the U23s. They know what it takes for young players to play for the Villa. The club was like a ship sailing in one direction. With the takeover in the summer we've managed to slow it down and in the last month we’ve probably turned it around and now we’re starting to go in the right direction. There’s a long way to go and a lot of hard work and effort but I feel for the first time I’ve got heads of department that are dynamic, expert, professional and entrenched in football and we’re just starting to move forwards. You get that ship called Aston Villa moving forwards and fast enough - you try and stop it. '

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Re: Technical Director - Steve Round

Post by VTID85 on Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:23 pm

Great insight, a lot of sensible statements made. The proof of the pudding is indeed in the eating, but he talks a tasty pudding.
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Re: Technical Director - Steve Round

Post by Trotters on Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:05 pm

Interesting to read how neglected the academy had become. And amazing that we have no scout for the 10-16 year old bracket. That's just bizarre! My cousin's 10 year old has just been picked up by the West Ham scouts and he lives about an hours drive outside of Sydney! Yet Villa couldn't find a kid that age on their doorstep.

We really did lose our way on all levels under Lerner, didn't we?
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Re: Technical Director - Steve Round

Post by VTID85 on Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:43 am

@Trotters wrote:We really did lose our way on all levels under Lerner, didn't we?

QFT.
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Re: Technical Director - Steve Round

Post by Wookster on Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:49 am

Maybe the demise of the Academy was behind Sid leaving
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Re: Technical Director - Steve Round

Post by Saunders82 on Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:08 pm

You can't believe that a chairman who supposedly loved the Villa would let us go so wrong, did he not listen to people? hopefully we will now move forward, its looking good so far.
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Re: Technical Director - Steve Round

Post by DelboyVilla on Sun Nov 27, 2016 2:09 pm

All the right noises there from Round?

Let's see how it get's put into practice?

The sports psychology bloke seems to have done wonders as we seem to have lost that vulnerability every time we concede?

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Re: Technical Director - Steve Round

Post by Wriggle on Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:40 am

Very good read!
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Re: Technical Director - Steve Round

Post by smetro on Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:44 am

@DelboyVilla wrote:All the right noises there from Round?

Let's see how it get's put into practice?

The sports psychology bloke seems to have done wonders as we seem to have lost that vulnerability every time we concede?  

Yep - some solid sensible answers.

Lets not forget though the current improvement is down to the solid appointment in Steve Bruce. Should we start messing about with namby pamby nobodies who talk about 'changing the culture' etc - then things will go backwards again pretty quickly. The structure is important - but it is dwarfed in significance by who we appoint as manager.
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