By Craig Scott

26th Sep, 2022 | 8:10am

Leeds United complete new behind-the-scenes addition as Bobbie French joins Thorp Arch team

Leeds United have hired Bobbie French as their new head of local recruitment, the UEFA-licensed coach has confirmed on social media.

Leeds’ academy is easily one of the best in the country, producing the likes of Kalvin Phillips, James Milner, Fabian Delph, Danny Rose and Aaron Lennon all coming through in the last couple of decades.

And now, French has been tasked with plucking youngsters from the surrounding areas to add to the academy and he took to his personal Twitter account on Sunday (25 September) to react to the news of his appointment.

“Start of a new era for me, and delighted to be announced as Head of Local Recruitment at Leeds United,” said French.

“Special day and a real honour to begin working for this huge Club and Academy.

“We get to work.”

Former Leeds striker Brian Deane reacted to the news, congratulating French on his new role in the Leeds’ academy set-up at Thorp Arch.

“Congratulations, Bobbie. Good luck, mate,” said Deane.

In another tweet, he added: “Aim for the stars. It’s a great club.”

Welcome, Bobbie

French’s Twitter account shows that he’s got a UEFA B License and an FA Youth Award to his name while he’s also got a Talent iD Level 3.

It means that he’s well-versed in coaching and youth recruitment so he’s more than up for the job at Leeds United.

It’ll be a tough job, there’s no doubt about that.

While Leeds have regularly pumped out top-quality players, the conveyor belt of talent has slowed down since the club’s financial meltdown in the early 2000s.

Good players are still coming through with the likes of Charlie Cresswell hopefully being the next local lad to burst onto the scene in the Leeds first-team.

Players like Joe Gelhardt, Sam Greenwood, Pascal Struijk and even Illan Meslier have stepped up from the second team to the senior side in the last couple of seasons. However, they’re not exactly academy graduates at Leeds.

Something the Whites have done in recent years is to cherry-pick the best talent from clubs across the UK while Victor Orta has also signed youngsters from Europe.

We don’t want that to stop but is that only happening because local recruitment hasn’t been so great lately.

French will hopefully change that but it’ll take several years to see the results.

In other Leeds United news, a Leeds-linked left-back will “absolutely” be sold in the January transfer window.