Sheffield Wednesday make key recruitment appointments

Steve Bruce has raided his old club Aston Villa to revamp Sheffield Wednesday's recruitment department.

Thursday, 7th March 2019, 5:50 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th March 2019, 5:58 pm
Owls boss Steve Bruce.

David Downes and Dean Hughes have moved to Hillsborough as Bruce looks to put his own stamp on the Championship club.

Downes has been appointed Wednesday's head of recruitment while Hughes will work as a recruitment analyst.

Owls boss Steve Bruce.

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Bruce told The Star: "I am absolutely delighted to have brought David and Dean in. Recruitment is a huge part of a football club and they will head up that department."

Former Wigan head of recruitment Downes joined Villa at the tail end of 2014 and his task was to source talent for the club's academy. His role took on added significance under former owner Dr Tony Xia, with Villa signing young central defender Jacob Bedeau in a£900,000 deal from Bury just over two years ago.

As for Hughes, he spent over two years working as a performance analyst at Villa Park. He also worked under Bruce when the four-time promotion winner was in charge of Hull City.

Some observers have criticised Wednesday's transfer dealings since Bruce's Hull team defeated them in the play-off final nearly three years ago.

But Owls chairman Dejphon Chansiri, who has invested heavily in strengthening the team since buying the club from Milan Mandaric, has repeatedly defended their recruitment policy, pointing out that even the top clubs in the country do not hit the jackpot when it comes to buying and selling players.

"It is down to the coach to identify players but, of course, I still have the final say," said Chansiri. "If we cannot achieve the first target, we move on to the second and so on."