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AFC Bournemouth: New Cherries scout David Webb unearthed Wilfried Zaha
CHERRIES have strengthened their scouting operation with the appointment of David Webb – the man who helped put Wilfried Zaha on the road to stardom.
Webb, the club’s new head of player recruitment, unearthed Manchester United’s £15million signing when he was a 10-year-old playing youth football in Croydon.
The 35-year-old, who is no relation to the former Cherries boss with the same name, is highly decorated and holds a host of coaching and scouting qualifications.
An international scout with Southampton before joining Cherries, Webb has also worked for Millwall, Tottenham and Crystal Palace and gained experience at Bayer Leverkusen in Germany.
Webb said: “You have to try to be one step ahead of the game because it is a tough market. We have to identify players we think will be suitable for us and have got certain traits which are going to tie in with the club.
“Each club will have their own way of looking at players and we are creating our own system which will be different to anybody else. The game is evolving all the time and you have to be more creative. In essence, we are looking at building a new scouting system to help take the club forward.
“It will involve the way we identify players and look at the modern trends in the game. I did some profiling work at Bayer Leverkusen where they get an in-depth profile of players. A player’s character and background are important and this is something which is coming more into scouting.”
Asked about how he had spotted Zaha, Webb said: “He was in the same under-11 team as my cousin, Whitehorse Wanderers in Croydon. He was raw but very skilful, athletic and an off-the-cuff player.
“I took him to Palace and he had a six-week trial. He did okay in his first three games but the coach was undecided and said he would give him one more game. He scored six against Spurs and they signed him.”
Webb added: “I like raw and unfinished players because, where they are not so polished, they are very hungry when they come into a system. They are almost like street players and have that character ingrained in them.
“Wilfried had skill and athleticism but I liked his character, even at an early age. He worked hard on the pitch and he carried himself properly off it. You could see he had traits which suggested he could go on.”
Webb will work closely with Cherries boss Eddie Howe who said: “We are looking to improve the scouting department and, with the step up in level, we need more eyes and bodies on the road looking at players.
“David was someone that came highly recommended. We met him a couple of times and were very impressed with what he had to say. He has a good knowledge of the foreign market, which I think was important for us as we expand and look into new areas to improve the squad.
“He is a good communicator and, more importantly, has got a great work ethic and wants to do well so we are delighted to have him on board.”
David Webb – factfile
- Thurrock and Basildon College – football/fitness coach – Aug 2002 to July 2005
- Crystal Palace – Academy coach scout – Aug 2003 to Aug 2005
- Tottenham Hotspur – Academy coach scout – Sept 2005 to Aug 2007
- Millwall – Youth coordinator – Sept 2007 to Dec 2010
- Southampton Football Club – scout – Dec 2010 to June 2013.
Qualifications and coaching badges
- Masters in MSC sports psychology
- Academy managers’ licence
- FA talent ID certificate
- UEFA A coaching licence
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