Preston North End chief scout James Wallace is latest staff change as Ryan Lowe reshuffles

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Preston North End have appointed James Wallace as their new chief scout, adding to staff changes that began six months ago.

Wallace arrives from League One Fleetwood Town, his contract expiring on the Fylde coast making way for a move to PNE.

He knows his new boss well, having played with Ryan Lowe at Tranmere Rovers. The 30-year-old finished his career with Fleetwood in 2019, immediately becoming the head of recruitment at Highbury.

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Under Joey Barton he helped build a team that reached the play-offs in 2020, however, since the impacts of covid there has been less money available for Wallace to spend at Fleetwood, meaning instead he has looked at the non-league market with last year’s League One player of the year Paddy Lane coming in under his watch.

James Wallace as a Fleetwood player embraces then teammate, and now PNE player, Ched Evans.James Wallace as a Fleetwood player embraces then teammate, and now PNE player, Ched Evans.
James Wallace as a Fleetwood player embraces then teammate, and now PNE player, Ched Evans.

Speaking to the club website about the appointment, North End manager Ryan Lowe said: “He knows the football industry inside out. He’s got loads of good connections, working at Fleetwood for two and a half years, maybe a little bit longer.

“He’s done fantastic recruitment for them, some good bargains, some good players, some from non-league as well.

“James knows everyone around the country. He’s well connected with all the football clubs, loan managers and everything else, so it’s important that we get a chief scout in that can go and watch games and watch players.

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“That’s what James’ job will be – getting out and seeing what’s out there. I’m really pleased to get him on board, he’s going to be a fantastic addition for us.”

It seems to be a resolution to Lowe’s backroom staff changes that began a month into his reign. First, Jack Cudworth and Steve Thompson were let go as first-team development coach and first team coach respectively.

In April, James Beet was assigned to be player loans and pathways manager, a switch from senior recruitment analyst. That timed with the Lilywhites linking up with MRKT Inisghts, a player recruitment and analysis company that Lowe had worked with at Plymouth Argyle.

Fitness and conditioning coach Tom Little left the club this week to join Sheffield United, with John Lucas arriving from Salford City as head of physcial performance.

Now, Wallace comes in to take up the role of chief scout, rounding off the staff changes.