WANDERERS are on the lookout for candidates to lead their recruitment department into the summer transfer window.

The club is currently advertising in the trade press for a new chief scout as part of Ian Evatt’s restructure, which will progress in the coming weeks.

The changes will not affect the current window – with Evatt confident he can find “short-term fixes” to get his team back into the promotion hunt in League Two.

But the new man will be tasked with working alongside the manager and his coaching staff to identify new signings for next season and beyond.

Wanderers parted company with Tobias Phoenix last month as they abandoned the ‘director of football’ structure which had been implemented the previous February.

Evatt, repositioned as manager and not head coach, now has a greater say on recruitment and will be picking out signings during the January transfer window with the help and advice of a few close confidants, including assistant manager Peter Atherton.

Speaking to The Bolton News last month, Evatt explained how he saw the hierarchy of the football department would change in the near future.

“I am just focussed on my role and I have been since day one,” he said. “Yes, it has slightly changed now because I have more responsibility. I will embrace that and take it on, making the best decisions I possibly can.

“I don’t leave any stone unturned, there’s no guesswork, and I try to limit risk as best as I can by taking on information, listening to people, speaking to people.

“We need to set up a proper structure at this club where are ahead of the game. We can’t attract and spend the money we used to do, so we have to do the due diligence, find the diamonds in the rough, turning them into our own. And that work is ongoing now.

“There will obviously be times when we need to sign an Eoin Doyle, an Antoni Sarcevic or a Nathan Delfouneso, who have proven track records. But with the salary cap you are limited to what you can do.

“You have to be better than the opposition with your research, your decision making in recruitment, because everyone has the same budget.

“All that planning is going on right now for January and the summer. It probably sounds strange that we’re already on with summer but for us to be the best in whatever division we’re in we have to be ahead.”

Evatt has already voiced concern that Wanderers have lagged behind some of their rival clubs on recruitment because of the massive restructure of the football department which has been going on since the summer.

The club has not had a chief scout since the departure of Tom Breacker in late 2019 – and his effectiveness had been severely compromised by the financial issues which occurred under previous ownership.

Wanderers announced in early March last year that they were stepping down to a category three academy and that some job positions would be placed under review.

Although Jimmy Phillips officially left his role as academy manager in the summer, with Mark Litherland stepping into a similar senior role, there has been no confirmation from the club 10 months on over the position of staff who were furloughed through lockdown.

Academy scout Brian Morris announced on social media that he had left the club – but popular coaches such as David Lee and Nicky Spooner have not been present at the training ground but remain listed on the official website under the staff index.

It is understood that ex-first team coach, Julian Darby, is currently working with the Under-16s but his job role also remains unconfirmed.

Evatt and his assistant Atherton remain the only senior coaching staff, although Lewis Duckmanton has recently adapted his previous role as an analyst to include some goalkeeper coach duties, following Matt Gilks’ increased participation in the first team.

Although some progress is now being made on recruiting a chief scout, concerns have been raised among supporters that Wanderers’ coaching staff are spread too thinly on the training ground.

For now, Evatt appears content to shoulder the burden and concentrate on improving the scouting structure as quickly as possible.

“Moving forward, we have to get a better structure in recruitment,” he said recently.

“We need to make quicker, better, more-informed decisions than we have in recent years. And we need to get ahead of the game.

“By March, we’ll know what we want and need for the summer. And we will already have those lines of communication in progress to make sure we are ready to do business and we get the players into the building we need.

“We have to be that far ahead, especially with the salary cap. The last thing we need is going into some bidding war and losing out on players when if we’d have been more focused earlier on, we could have got them in.”