New role for Wigan Athletic legend

Paul Jewell
Paul Jewell

Paul Jewell, the former Wigan Athletic player and manager, admits he can’t wait to get started after agreeing to become the new director of football at League Two Swindon Town.

The 54-year-old will oversee recruitment and assist new boss Richie Wellens with general football operations, and working closely with chief scout Ben Chorley.

“When Richie called me about the job he basically asked: would I help him?” revealed Jewell.

“And I said I would in any way I can. The job is full of pressure and I just said, if I could take some of the pressure off him with agents, watching games or in any way I can then I would.

“You’d have to ask Richie whether it’ll be a help to him, the fact that he asked me to come in it makes you feel good about yourself.

“It’s an opportunity that is coincidental, because I played with the chairman and have seen him from time to time after playing together at Bradford a long time ago.

“Hopefully, I can help, Lee, Richie and the club improve. That’s what I’m hoping to do.”

Jewell was of course the manager who delivered Premier League football to Wigan in 2005, as well as reaching the final of the League Cup the following year.

He resigned ‘for health reasons’ a day after keeping Latics up on the final day of the 2006/7 campaign.

He then spent time with Derby County, Ipswich Town and Oldham Athletic, where he assisted Wellens for a short period of time.

“I think one of the main strengths Paul can bring is the analysis in the recruitment of players,” said Wellens.

“One of the most draining things you can have as a manager is working with agents, having players thrown at you all the time.

“It allows me to concentrate on the players we’ve got.

“I can spend more time with them on the training ground, and then speak with Paul regarding players that could come in and narrow it down to the good ones.

“We want to try and get them in rather than the mass quantity that get thrown at you.

“He brings his expertise but also his contacts in the game – when Paul Jewell rings you up from another club, he’s a recognisable name.

“He’s not just got an eye for a player but he’s been there and done it at every level which was a draw for me to ask him to come on board and help here at Swindon Town.

“At this stage in his life, I think it suits him that he can be involved in the game but also try and get his golf handicap down - which he wouldn’t be able to do if he was on the training ground every day.

“He’s a good guy and I enjoy working with him, we only had a short time together at Oldham because of circumstances there.

“This time round, we can work together to bring the club forward.”