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Whitecaps FC Welcomes Nikos Overheul as Director of Recruitment

February 12, 2021 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Vancouver Whitecaps FC News Release

VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC confirmed on Friday that Nikos Overheul, who first joined the club as a consultant last October, will become the director of recruitment overseeing a revamped department.

"We have a lot of talented people working on our scouting and recruitment," said Overheul. "I'm excited for this opportunity and look forward to working with Axel Schuster, Marc Dos Santos and everyone at the club as we continue to grow both on and off the pitch."

Overheul arrives in Vancouver having most recently worked at StatsBomb as the head of technical scouting for the leading football analytics company. A native of the Netherlands, Overheul previously spent time as a team analyst and first team scout with English Championship side Brentford FC and Danish Superliga side FC Midtjylland before working as a consultant for clubs all over the world.

"Over the last two years, we have invested a lot of time and resources into elevating our recruitment philosophy and process," added Axel Schuster, Whitecaps FC chief executive officer and sporting director. "The changes we've made have been gradual and with purpose. We are very pleased to add someone of Nikos' expertise and skills to lead the team, while complementing him with a talented group of scouts."

The recruitment department also includes the addition of first team scouts Dave Dir and Kevin Antunes, long-time member of the club Steve Meadley as the college scout & Homegrown player manager, and a network of scouts outside of North America.

Dir returned to the club near the end of 2019 as a consultant having previously worked as the chief scout during Vancouver's first two seasons in Major League Soccer. The native of Anchorage, Alaska, has experience as a coach and scout across North America for over three decades. Antunes also joined the club as a consultant last October, following two years as a first team scout with Montreal Impact. The Montreal, Quebec, native also spent time scouting in Europe and worked as a scouting consultant for North American clubs. Meadley, a native of Leeds, England, has been a full-time member of the club since 2005, which has included varies coaching and scouting roles from the academy to the first team.

"Ultimately, it is about having the right people in place to find the right players; players who fit our profile and will improve our group," added Schuster.

The recruitment department works closely with the coaching staff and brings into account the comprehensive data and physical evaluation reports from the performance department to create an integrated recruitment approach.

The performance department, led by Dr. Ben Sporer, provides input from the data science team of Dr. Johann Windt, Alexander Hinton and Quinn Thompson, the physical preparation team led by Jon Poli, as well as the medical team.

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