Kevin Thelwell explains why Wolves chose Jackett

Jez Moxey has labelled Kenny Jackett Wolves' very own Special One. Kevin Thelwell explains to Tim Nash how the new head coach was selected.

Kevin Thelwell explains why Wolves chose Jackett

Twenty-five page dossiers on each candidate, three-hour interviews with 12 managers then the same again with the shortlisted seven - no one can accuse Wolves of kneejerk reactions this time.

After the whim-like series of appointments led by Steve Morgan following Mick McCarthy's sacking which saw Terry Connor, Stale Solbakken and Dean Saunders ushered in then quickly jettisoned, there has been an altogether different approach with the arrival of Kenny Jackett as head coach.

The significance of Morgan's absence from the unveiling of Jackett yesterday was quickly airbrushed over by Jez Moxey.

The Molineux chief executive said Morgan "was doing what he does best – in London making money".

But there is no doubt that the power has shifted back towards Moxey – and head of football development and recruitment Kevin Thelwell – in the most exhaustive and painstaking recruitment process in the club's history.

If this one proves to be the wrong appointment, it won't be down to a lack of research in scouring the market.

Morgan had the final rubberstamping, but only after Thelwell, then Moxey had done all the legwork and made the strongest recommendations that Jackett was their man.

"We had to get the process right and doing it in such a way where there was as much certainty as possible," said Thelwell.

"The first thing we needed to do was put together a profile of what the new head coach and then do as much due diligence as possible on each candidate.

"We started off with a list of 75 and measured them against the profile, breaking that group down to 12 and then focusing on each candidate.

"I met all 12 and spent two-and-a-half to three hours with each one and made recommendations to Jez to get down to a definite seven candidates.

"That's from where I was able to say 'he's at number one and he's at number seven. Jez joined me in the second stage to go through a similar process again.

"That enabled us to add another layer of information to what we already had, so we might have thought 'we need to get more from him on this.'

"We compiled a detailed dossier of 24-25 pages on each of the seven candidates and then got down to a shortlist and made our recommendations to Steve Morgan, who was involved in the final stage.

"Steve had all the dossiers in front of him and we told him 'this guy is the one we recommend'."

As for Jackett, the depth and scale of Thelwell's research left him utterly convinced that the former Millwall and Swansea boss is the right choice for Wolves.

"We're a club with a fantastic tradition and history and everyone anticipates us being successful, so it's about us managing that expectation.

"So it was about finding someone of that level of expertise and that experience.

"It was also about someone who has an excellent coaching record, which Kenny has – he holds the UEFA Pro Licence – and his background as a coach is highly regarded in the game.

"Then there was the fit, and anyone who has been a success at Millwall, which isn't an easy club to manage, certainly has the qualities to be able to manage Wolves.

"All of those culminated in him being the stand-out candidate as well as his huge knowledge and understanding of where we are, what we are, and what we need going forwards."

Along with the interviews, canvassing opinion from within the game formed a vital part of the process.

"That was a huge part of what we've been through because the interviews are only one part," added Thelwell.

"I know a lot of people whose knowledge and opinions I'm very comfortable with and I haven't found anyone with a bad word to say about Kenny.

"People at a high level in the Premier League and the Champions League have all spoken about him extremely highly.

"Talking to others about how they work on a daily basis allows you to read between the lines, and again, the feedback on Kenny was faultless.

"I don't want to reveal individuals, but I spoke to people who worked under him as assistant managers, people who have worked with him at board level, players, other members of staff such as senior members of recruitment, heads of sports science etc, and the majority of those individuals are now working in the Premier League or the Championship, and some have Champions League experience."

Dashing up and down motorways and seeing candidates in hotels, Thelwell has never had a busier time in over five years at Wolves.

It was his biggest project in that time, his first major responsibility since he was promoted to his new role in December.

"I have real confidence that we've got the right person, and I feel more confident about that every day,"?Thelwell said.

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