Yesterday Zeb Jacobs was confirmed as Rangers new academy director. Here’s why he’s an incredibly exciting choice for the clubs future. He joined the club in January 2022 as the Academy Head of Coaching. Since then, he’s impressed so much in the role that he’s been promoted less than 18 months later. His previous role at Royal Antwerp was Talent Co-ordinator and Head of Coaching. So, it was clear form the get go that he knew what he was talking about when it came to spotting talented young players.
Zeb Jacobs Thoughts
This is what the man himself had to say after Rangers announced the appointment;
His Twitter gives an impressive insight into his mindset and passion for the game. There is a mixture of academy related posts and some insights to new training methods and football psychology, definitely worth a follow!
He also had this to say for his interview with the club;
I am excited about this new chapter as the Academy Director of Rangers Football Club. The opportunity to develop the best young talent in Scotland is incredibly exciting, and I am ready to make a lasting impact.
With the resources and elite infrastructure already in place, I firmly believe that our Academy has the potential to become world-leading in player development. My vision is crystal clear: ‘create the most exciting learning environment in sports’. By maximising the potential of every player and nurturing their skills, we aim to produce a new generation of players who can excel not only for Rangers in Scotland but also on the European stage.Zeb Jacobs via Rangers official website
The wording of ‘the most exciting learning environment in sports’ is very deliberate. He goes on to say in the interview that the club and himself have looked at different sports with the view of learning how players in all different situations are developed and the tools that are used to aid this development. He’s an incredibly exciting and innovative character that will do, in my opinion, incredible things for the club.
James Bisgrove on Zeb Jacobs
The soon-to-be CEO had this to say on the appointment;
I’d like to firstly congratulate Zeb on his appointment. Michael Beale and I, along with other key colleagues from the football department, led a thorough and diligent recruitment process to identify our next Academy Director, with Zeb the outstanding candidate.
Zeb will bring constant innovation and a clear vision to the role, and his strong collaborative relationship with Michael Beale and the first team staff will ensure a direct link and pathway between the Academy and Men’s first team that will flourish for many years.
The Rangers Academy has produced some of the leading talents in the Scottish game in recent seasons, and we’re confident that Zeb is well placed to create an environment for the next crop of talent to thrive and reach the Rangers first team.James Bisgrove on Zeb Jacobs via Rangers official website
Very positive and encouraging words regarding the appointment. Importantly Bisgrove mentions a strong relationship between Michael Beale and Zeb Jacobs which is imperative for the development of Rangers young players. Jacobs himself also mentioned being aligned with the manager when it came to play style and development.
Through watching the interview and reading his tweets, I’m very excited about Zeb Jacobs being the academy director. He’s so passionate about the development of players and is constantly looking for new and innovative ways to help them progress. He is exactly the type of person who should be in the role and the club have made the correct decision here. Although he doesn’t have experience in this particular role I don’t see it as a risk. Anyone who speaks with his much passion deserves a chance to follow up their words with actions.
All in all, I feel Rangers have made a really smart move here. Despite the lack of experience in the particular role, he has all the tools to be a success in the position. It’s important to realize this role doesn’t come with immediate success. It’s a role which requires patience and years of build-up. Therefore, it won’t be fair to really judge Zeb Jacobs until, at least, this time next year. I’m looking forward to looking back at the end of next season and, hopefully, talking about the success of the academy since his appointment.
What are your thoughts on this one? Have you watched his interview? If so, what did you think about what he had to say?