Bristol City have appointed former midfielder Matt Hewlett into a vital scout position at the club.
BristolWorld understands that following former full-back Micky Bell joining the academy coaching staff, the Robins have also promoted Hewlett to help with academy recruitment.
The role is an important one as the West Country outfit hope to build on the fruits of their academy, with the addition of further youth talents to join at later ages, such as has happened with Antoine Semenyo and Alex Scott arriving late into the academy at 17 and 16 (on a pre-contract) respectively.
Hewlett is no stranger to City supporters after playing for the South West team from 1991 to 2000, with a short loan to Burnley in that time. In total he made 127 league appearances, scoring nine times.
He moved on to Swindon Town for five years before finishing his career at Torquay United and Tiverton Town.
With injuries coming to the fore, Hewlett packed up playing professionally, but he has retained his links to the game, even while working around the Bristol area since retiring in the late 2000s.
The now 46-year-old has been working in a part-time scout capacity for Bristol City previously but has since earned a promotion thanks in part to his work undertaken for the club so far.
He played a big role in bringing 16-year-old talent Olly Thomas to the club, along with academy director Brian Tinnion, with Thomas one of a number of young players standing out recently in City’s U23s side, who are currently joint top of the Professional Development League 2 South section with Ipswich Town.
And Hewlett will now work with club legend ‘Tinns’ and head of youth recruitment Damian Butt to bring in more young talents to Ashton Gate to follow the path of Sam Bell, Ayman Benarous, Tommy Conway and others.
As reported by BristolWorld, the Bristol City academy has gone through a restructuring process in the last half a year, which has seen several long term employees depart BS3, such as pre-academy manager Ian Rossiter, head of operations Suzanne Coombs, and operations manager Emma Joliffe, despite the club website still listing some former employees.
The Robins have high hopes for several youth talents, especially after the completion of their High Performance Centre training ground in Failand, which saw the academy wing move from SGS College Filton to the senior site.
Young players Alex Scott and Antoine Semenyo have both enjoyed good individual seasons, even if the senior side have toiled in the Championship in 2021/22.
And the Robins hope to identify, coach and push through more young prospects in the coming years ahead.