MICHAEL Maguire has raided his old club Melbourne for a fourth time.
Following the signing of overseas players Jeff Lima, Ryan Hoffman and Brett Finch, Maguire has returned to the Storm to recruit John Winder as Wigan’s head of youth performance.
The appointment will crank up an already-successful production line of young players at Wigan.
Winder will oversee all aspects of youth and player performance across the club, including scouting, recruiting and developing future stars.
He has also been handed some first-team duties.
Maguire said: “I am delighted to be working with John once more, having been together at Melbourne Storm where he was in a coaching and development role.
“John also coached the Storm’s Under-18’s and reserve grade. John will be responsible for the club’s youth set-up from talent identification to player recruitment, and then developing the players in the club’s squads.”
Winder, from Cumbria, has previously worked at Wigan before moving to Melbourne three years ago.
He will take on some of the duties that Ray Unsworth – now with Sale Sharks –was responsible for. But chairman Ian Lenagan has been wanting to improve Wigan’s scouting network for some time and Winder, who has worked on youth schemes both regionally and nationally with the RFL, fits the bill.
He said: “I am pleased to be back at Wigan and to be working again with Madge (Maguire). The youth department is an essential part of the club, recruiting and developing the players of the future.
“Wigan traditionally has a wonderful history of bringing quality young players through the system from scholarship to academy, reserve grade to first team and I am looking forward to playing my part in this important process.”
A staggering 22 of Wigan’s 34-man first-team squad for 2011 developed through the club’s academy system.
l WIGAN are hoping to confirm a third pre-season match, possibly against Warrington, to complete their schedule of friendlies.
The Warriors will travel to Salford on Sunday, January 16 and Barrow seven days later. The match against Championship side Barrow will serve as a testimonial for Brett McDermott.