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Club News


2 February 2024

Club News


2 February 2024

Barnsley Football Club is pleased to confirm the appointment of Mladen Sormaz as our new Sporting Director, the first appointment of its kind in the Club’s history.

Mladen joins the Reds from 777 Partners, where he was responsible for identifying players for multiple clubs across an international portfolio of teams which include Genoa, Standard Liege and Hertha Berlin.

Prior to working with 777, Sormaz held a senior position in Leicester City’s recruitment team between 2019 and 2022, during which time the Foxes achieved three top eight Premier League league finishes and won the FA Cup.

Mladen will head up football operations for Barnsley Football Club including negotiating incoming and outgoing transfers as well as player contract offers across the Men’s and Women’s sides. He will support the Men’s and Women’s coaching teams, youth academy, lead recruitment, sports science, and medical services departments.

Additionally, the former Leicester man will work with our coaches to create and implement a game model and coaching methodology to be used across the club.

Raised in Yorkshire, the 36-year-old also has a PhD in Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of York.

Sormaz said, “I am absolutely delighted to be joining Barnsley, as someone from not too far away, I've grown up around a lot of Barnsley fans and understand the scale of the club and the passion of support. I'm honoured to have the responsibility to be the Club’s first Sporting Director.

“My interactions with the Club during the recruitment process have been very positive. The staff and directors I've spoken to have left an impression on me, and I’ve been really impressed with how they operate.

“I'm excited to get started, meet everyone and will be fully focused helping support Neill and the first team in the promotion push for this last, vital part of the season.”

Chairman Neerav Parekh said, “We are really pleased to have appointed the first Sporting Director in the Club’s history.
“This role is key for us as we look to have top professionals overseeing both the football and commercial aspects of the Club, rather than one person trying to manage both. This is a much more modern approach which will improve our operation.

“Mladen has an outstanding CV for such a young person and also understands the region and the identity of the club.  Mladen will start later this month and will  be tasked with looking ahead to the summer window and beyond as we look to move Barnsley Football Club back to where we belong.”

Mladen begins his tenure with the Club later on in February, with Club legend Bobby Hassell returning to his role heading up our academy.

The board of directors wish to thank Bobby for his hard work and leadership during the interim period he has overseen, once again demonstrating his dedication to Barnsley Football Club.

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