Swansea City name ex-Manchester City chief Mark Allen new academy boss

Mark Allen (right) with Steven Gerrard
Mark Allen (right) with Steven Gerrard, who has led Rangers to the top of the Scottish Premier League

Swansea City have appointed Mark Allen as the club's new academy director.

Allen, 57, was most recently director of football at Glasgow Rangers, where he was responsible for recruiting Steven Gerrard as their manager.

He also spent eight years as Manchester City's director of academy, where he helped nurture the likes of Phil Foden and Jadon Sancho.

Allen, who is based in Llanharan, succeeds Nigel Rees who left the club last month.

During Rees' 12 years in the role, Swansea's academy has developed a string of players who have gone on to play for the first team, with some moving on in high-profile transfers.

Joe Rodon joined Tottenham Hotspur in October for an initial £11m, following the previous departures of fellow Wales international Dan James to Manchester United for £15m and Oli Burnie to Sheffield United for £20m.

In September, Swansea downgraded the status of their academy as part of cost-cutting at the Championship club.

The move means Swansea's youth sides drop out of Premier League 2 and into the Professional Development League.

Swansea chief executive Julian Winter is delighted to have appointed someone with the experience of Allen.

"In Mark, we believe we have someone who can continue to take the academy forward and help the development of our players and staff," said Winter.

"We underwent an extensive process with a recruitment agency for this position, and we were delighted with the high-calibre candidates who were keen to work for our football cub.

"Mark was the outstanding choice. He has great experience in football and is familiar with the ethos here.

"He has a proven track record of working with young, talented footballers at Manchester City and preparing them for the first-team environment.

"His success at Glasgow Rangers also stood out, and his involvement there shows he is knowledgeable of the requirements and demands not just at academy level but at senior level too.

"It's an exciting appointment, and I am really looking forward to working with him."

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