THE figure, five, looms large in the life of Rob Scott as he settles into his role as the new head of recruitment at Rotherham United.
Scott has forsaken the Premier League for the chance to work at the club where he was once a player, leaving Watford's talent-spotting department, of which he was a highly-valued member, to renew his association with the Millers.
The 45-year-old, who has long been based in Rotherham, travels on average to five matches a week.
His new place of work, AESSEAL New York Stadium, meanwhile, is just five miles from his Ravenfield home.
The Millers have reacted quickly to replace Jamie Johnson who departed in late February having never moved to the area from Buckinghamshire during his two years in the post.
Paul Warne was keen on Scott from the off but there was no favouritism. His former Rotherham teammate had to go through a tough process of interviews and second interviews before sitting behind his new desk for the first time last Monday.
It looks a great appointment.
Scott has forged his reputation for identifying talent at Championship Brentford and then the top-flight Hornets, two sides held up as shining examples of how recruitment should be carried out when you can't compete with the spending power of bigger clubs in the same division.
He had a hand in the Bees arrival of Neal Maupay from St Etienne in the summer of 2017. The price was £1.6 million for the young striker now rated, after 32 goals in 61 league starts, in the £25m class.
He was also involved in the capture from Reims last summer of Julien Jeanvier, an unknown centre-half who has turned out to be so good that Brentford were able to sell fellow central defender Chris Mepham to AFC Bournemouth in January for £12m.
Epsom-born Scott, who also played alongside Millers assistant boss Richie Barker and goalkeeping coach Mike Pollitt, was prepared to drop back down to the second tier for the chance to do things his way, to lead an entire set-up.
The fact he will be around his wife and daughter more means the switch also makes sense on a personal level.
“It's good to come into a new job and be comfortable with people that you know and not have to take a couple of months to integrate,” he said.
“I know what Warney is all about, how he was as a player and what he is as a person.”
Rotherham were ready to shake up their recruitment unit after Johnson's tenure didn't produce enough of the signings they were looking for.
Johnson, who computerised the operation and introduced the latest scouting software, was a step in the right direction.
Scott — who will be helped by another new arrival, ex-Middlesbrough chief scout and head of technical recruitment Chris Trotter — will move things on much further.
The Millers know that they face a losing battle whenever a rival Championship club enters the chase for one of their targets
They need to be targeting the second divisions of Germany and France, the leagues in Scandinavia, the competitions of Ireland.
Scott has already made his mark, developed contacts and built up his knowledge in these territories.
Every year, Brentford seem to start a season with a clutch of young, unheralded foreign players signed for a relative pittance, most of whom turn out to be gems and go on to be sold for big money.
That has to be the Rotherham way.
Scott, a frequent visitor to matches at New York while with Watford, and Warne are friends, although the pair don't often socialise away from football.
The new man is no 'yes' man. He has strong views and the strength of character to stick by them, which is one of the reasons why Warne was pleased to see his name among the initial 80-odd applicants.
He tried management as a joint boss with yet another ex-Miller, Paul Hurst, at non-league Ilkeston Town, Boston United and Grimsby Town, but didn't love it and discovered that recruitment was his forte.
Returning to the theme of 'five', here are other signings that bear his influence.
Domingos Quina, a teenager striker taken from West Ham United's youth ranks and now appearing in the Premier League for Watford.
Ben Wilmot, a teenage defender who has also played in Watford's first team this season after leaving Stevenage.
Mads Bech Sorensen, a defender plucked from Danish side AC Horsens and just starting to break into Brentford's senior side at the age of 20.
Daniel Bentley, a young goalkeeper spotted at Southend United and now one of the Championship's top shot-stoppers with Brentford.
Chiedozie Ogbene, a 21-year-old winger of whom the Bees expect big things in the future after signing him from Irish outfit Limerick.
Scott played more than 200 times as a defender for Rotherham, he's made his home in the town, he knows how to work within budgetary constraints.
He and the Millers appear a perfect fit.
He 'gets' the club. And the club have done well to get him.
LOW-DOWN ON NEW MAN TROTTER
ROTHERHAM United new appointment Chris Trotter once worked for nothing so that he could take his first steps on the player-recruitment ladder.
Trotter this week joined the Millers at the same time as Rob Scott took over the club's talent-spotting operation and will be a key man in Scott's team.
After earning a degree in sports coaching at Leeds Beckett University in 2009, he volunteered as a performance analyst in Middlesbrough's Academy set-up before spending the next ten years working his way through the ranks at the Championship side.
By the time he left Boro to come to AESSEAL New York Stadium he was their senior scout and head of technical recruitment.
Darlington-based Trotter said: “Rotherham are a club I know well from working within football for a long time. They have similar characteristics to the area I am from.
“I understand what the club are about and the type of players that we'll be looking for. I think I have assets than can really benefit the recruitment process.”
After two years in his voluntary role, Trotter was made senior recruitment video analyst at the Riverside Stadium and then became first-team performance analysis.
He has extensive experience of all the modern analysis software like Prozone, Wyscout and Scout 7.
For the last five years he has been senior scout and head of technical recruitment, with his duties including organising a network of regional scouts, attending games as a talent-spotter, developing player databases and tracking potential targets in the European leagues.
“I have been warmly welcomed by the staff,” he added. “The club look to have a good culture in place. Everyone greets you with a smile.
“In terms of the recruitment structure, there are a lot of good practices and processes already in place. We are now looking to develop this.”
These articles first appeared in the Advertiser
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