How Portsmouth will take inspiration from Oxford United and MK Dons as they reshape recruitment model

Andy Cullen has revealed Pompey will take inspiration from League One rivals Oxford and MK Dons as they reshape their recruitment model.

By Sam Cox
Sunday, 3rd April 2022, 5:00 pm

The chief executive believes there’s plenty his club can learn from around the division when it comes to restructuring their transfer operations.

Despite making a loss , the ex-Dons supremo explained how Danny Cowley’s transfer kitty won’t drop this summer.

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The Fratton chief has already overseen sizeable changes in personnel, since he was appointed permanent manager at the end of last season.

He’s brought 19 new players to the club across two transfer windows, but is still in the process of making his side true promotion contenders.

And with both the U’s and Liam Manning’s side vying for a place in the Championship next season, the Blues CEO outlined how they’ll use their models for reference in the future.

The latter have undoubtedly benefitted from their ethos of signing young, up and coming players – with figures such as Scott Twine gaining admirers from the Premier League due to his impressive form.

Scott Twine has scored 15 league goals for MK Dons this season. Picture: George Wood/Getty Images

As a result, Cullen is hoping to match the blueprint he helped mould in Buckinghamshire.

Cullen told Express FM: ‘Oxford United is a really good example where they’ve developed a really strong trading model, which has enabled them to reinvest and bring in the next batch of players.

MK Dons are absolutely similar, and I know that from my own experience. That was very much a philosophy we adopted over the last three years at MK Dons.

‘Us at Pompey, now, have got to look at how we can identify that young talent coming in so we can achieve success, take us to the next level and become assets.

‘What we want to do is relook at the trading model and the calibre of players we are recruiting.’

Cowley is set to embark on an all-important third transfer window at the club’s helm at the end of this season – after he cited the trio of trading periods as key to building success on the south coast.

And Cullen detailed how they’re looking to learn from their past transfer window mistakes to transform the Fratton outfit into a League One force next season.

He added: ‘We have a situation where, if you look back at the last five or six years and the players we have recruited , there’s been a tendency to recruit players who are maybe from the Championship and the Premier League.

‘We haven’t been as smart as we can in the lower leagues and where have we had successes. We want to focus on that and bring some young, energetic first-team ready players who are under 23.

‘That doesn’t mean we’ll be exclusively recruiting in those areas. What we want to do is expand the squad accordingly, so we can budget for it right.’

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