Unearthing Middlesbrough's diamonds - Jack Watson

When it comes to signing a player, there is one man Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray will always turn to for assessment.

Boro's recruitment co-ordinator Jack Watson, 90, has around 50 years of experience in scouting, and comes highly recommended by the current boss at the Riverside.

"When Jack gets excited about a player, I tend to get excited about a player," Mowbray told BBC Late Kick Off.

"I tend to follow it up very quickly."

Born in High Spen, near Gateshead, Watson has worked with Carlisle, Darlington, Hartlepool, Sunderland and Middlesbrough during his career.

However it is with Middlesbrough where the affiliation has been most closely developed.

He was a scout under managers such as Jack Charlton and Colin Todd, and now heads up a team of scouting staff working for the Teessiders.

"We have built it up, we've got five or six who report back to me," Watson said.

"I follow them up to see if these players should be watched again and see when they can be watched.

JACK WATSON'S RECOMMENDATIONS

  • David Hodgson - Middlesbrough
  • Alan Walsh - Darlington
  • Lee Miller - Carlisle

"It's a different world to my day, when I started you did everything, as chief scout at Middlesbrough I had to do the coaching."

Watson's eye for a player has been a useful tool for Mowbray, as well as assistant Mark Venus, through spells at Hibernian, West Bromwich Albion and Celtic.

"You're looking for skill, awareness, vision, pace, commitment," Watson added.

"If you see something it clicks straight away.

"I like to see them play home and away, because some players are different players home and away."

Mowbray added: "He knows what myself and Mark Venus look for in a footballer.

"He'll know instantly whether we'll like somebody or not.

"We're all looking for an uncut diamond in this business, the ones who you can polish up and make a star.

"The currency you're working on in any football club is players, and I'm sure there's some around the corner that he's looking at that might come to fruition."