Aston Villa have made two key appointments to their backroom staff, and it will surely have left Dean Smith buzzing.
Villa are enjoying a superb season on the pitch in the Premier League thus far, finding themselves in the top half of the table and only five points behind seventh-placed Liverpool.
Now, it appears they are also taking steps to reinforcing things behind the scenes, with the news that a couple of new positions have been filled among the backroom staff.
As confirmed by the club’s official website: “Aston Villa have appointed Adam Henshall as the club’s new Head of Emerging Talents & Loans and Mile Jedinak as our new Loan Player Development Coach.
“Adam joins us from Doncaster Rovers and Mile is a well known face at Bodymoor Heath having helped the club win promotion to the Premier League two years ago.”
While the two appointments may not seem like the most ground-breaking of news, there’s no doubting that Villa stand to reap rich rewards from it.
You only have to look at the club’s burgeoning academy to know that Villa have got a real talented crop of youngsters coming through at the same time, with the likes of Louie Barry and Aaron Ramsey a couple of those who are at the top of that list.
But for the duo, and the rest of the U23s and U18s, making sure the bridge between academy football and making it into the first-team at Villa Park will be the absolute key to ensuring Villa get the best out of them.
And one proven way of doing that is making sure they find some first-team football out on loan. That isn’t just as simple as shipping them out for a season wherever, and expecting things to work out.
A real thought process has to go into it, taking a load of factors into consideration, not least: the manager at the club, playing time, training facilities, tactical set-up and just the whole culture surrounding it.
Get that wrong, and you risk setting back a young player’s career massively. By appointing both Henshall and Jedinak, Villa are taking the necessary steps to ensuring the whole process runs a lot more smoothly and has a greater chance of success.
It’s exactly why Christian Purslow’s major decisions should leave the Villa boss very content indeed.