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Everton appoint Kevin Thelwell as new Director of Football

The former Wolves and RBNY man steps into the vacancy after the departure of Marcel Brands

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Chelsea FC - Premier League Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

Everton have just announced that Kevin Thelwell will be taking over the vacancy at Director of Football at the club.

The 48-year-old is currently the Director of Football at New York Red Bulls of the MLS, having been in the position since February 2020. Before that he had held roles as Sporting Director, Head of Football Development & Recruitment, Academy Manager and Under-18s manager at Wolverhampton Wanderers and credited for bringing in or developing a number of their star players like Diogo Jota, Ruben Neves, Adama Traore, Leander Dendoncker and Conor Coady.

At Everton Thelwell will to the Board of Directors and be charged with leading recruitment as well as heading up all of the Club’s football departments, including First Team, Academy, coaching, sport science, medical services and analysis. His predecessor Marcel Brands was also a member of the Board of Directors but Thelwell has not been accorded the same position.

The club’s statement went on to add -

“Thelwell’s appointment is a key part of the Club’s ongoing strategic review of its football strategy and operation, which included the appointment of Frank Lampard as its new manager last month.”

There has been no word as yet on when the strategic review will be completed, but there are a number of vacant positions in the scouting and recruitment positions which likely will now get filled.

Last week new manager Frank Lampard had indicated that he would have liked to have a say in the appointment of the new Director of Football, but there has been no indication whether Thelwell was his favoured candidate over Steve Hitchen, the other name widely tipped to get the job. Reports indicate that former player Tim Cahill, who has been assisting the club in an administrative support role over the last few weeks, was pivotal in making the decision.

In Thelwell’s last position as Director of Football for New York Red Bulls, he has been able to steer the side to a remarkable turnaround ahead of schedule getting them into the MLS Cup Playoffs with the youngest roster in the league. He has made a name for himself with aggressive recruiting and a focus on youth, both of which are sorely needed at Everton.

An interview he did with The Athletic late last year shows a lot about his footballing mindset, with both Wolves during his four-year tenure there and Red Bulls playing entertaining and attacking football, and doing it with young players and a defined playing style, something which he will find his new manager Lampard also agreeing with him on.