Gateshead FC have announced the appointment of the club’s first Sporting Director, Chris Hawes.

Chris Hawes (left) with Gateshead FC’s Operations Director Michael Williams.

Hawes assumes his role at the club with immediate effect, assisting Steve Watson and Micky Cummins with various football and scouting related issues.

“It is a great pleasure to welcome our first ever Sporting Director Chris Hawes to Gateshead FC,” said Gateshead’s Operations Director Michael Williams. “Chris will be working in conjunction with Steve Watson and his coaching team to aid with player recruitment, contract negotiation, the academy structure, club partnerships and scouting.

“We are looking to build Gateshead in a dynamic way by developing the various departments in the club and also adding value to the technical side of things which enables Steve and his team to concentrate on coaching and football. Having Chris on board will help us to do just that as he brings with him over a decade of footballing experience as a former FIFA agent.

“Being primarily based in London also allows Chris to have great access to monitor the fourteen southern-based teams in the National League and report back to the coaching team.”

Following his appointment, Hawes commented: “I’m delighted to be on board here at Gateshead.

“It’s an exciting project and it’s something that I can’t wait to be involved with. I’ve known the owner Ranjan (Varghese) for a while and he hasn’t really been involved with football before now, so when he took over the club, I was asked to become Sporting Director to aid with the football side of things.

“I’ve previously worked as a football agent since 2006 and was at an agency before that so I bring a certain background and knowledge of the game that can help the club, particularly in regards to player recruitment and development. We don’t have a Chief Scout here so I’ll be helping out with the scouting down south and assisting where I can with the football side of things.

“I’ll also be working with Steve Watson, looking at the transfers he wants to bring in and develop the youth and academy side of things too. The manager will remain very much in charge of the team but I will obviously be in contact with him regularly and help put in to practice what we both feel is best for Gateshead Football Club.

“I’ve watched all of our games so far this season and the team have really hit the ground running. Steve has put together a great young side who are scoring goals and winning matches which is the main thing.

“We’ve got one of the lowest budgets in the league which presents a tough challenge but a great project for all involved. Steve is a great manager who the players and the fans really take to so I think there are exciting times ahead here at Gateshead.”