Perth Glory have appointed former club captain and midfield enforcer Jacob Burns as General Manager of Football.
Burns who retired as a player at the end of the last season, will be responsible for a wide range of areas within the club’s expanded football department.
Key among his responsibilities will be youth development, player management, player research and football staff recruitment as well as corporate partnerships and sponsorship arrangements.
Burns was a central figure in a team revolt against former coach Alistair Edwards who was sacked in the wake of the drama and replaced by Kenny Lowe.
But the combative and sometimes divisive player retained the confidence of the club board and owner Tony Sage.
The 36-year-old completed his AFC ‘B’ coaching licence and will work within the club’s broadened coaching structure providing support to newly appointed Head of Youth Football Development, John Gibson.
He will also assist in a coaching capacity with Perth’s increased elite player pathway commitments in the WA National Premier League, youth league and proposed youth academy structure.
"I feel extremely privileged to be continuing in a role at the club that I'm so passionate about,” Jacob Burns told the club's official website.
“I believe my experience and knowledge of playing top flight football over the past 20 years can add real value to the club’s coaching structure and football department moving forward - providing strategic advice and football knowledge and strengthening the link between the football and administrative department.
“To be able to be involved in football and with Perth Glory after retiring last season is something I've always had ambitions to pursue.
“To get to continue to work with Kenny Lowe and the coaching team and be involved in the club’s youth development as well as football administration is a wonderful opportunity.
“I have a Sports Administration Diploma and Business Diploma and am currently doing my MBA to support such a move as this into the administrative side of the game.”
Glory CEO Jason Brewer believes Burns can have as big an impact off the field as he did on it.
“It is immensely important to keep a person of Jacob's quality and ambitions at Glory,” Brewer said.
“He is highly respected in the football community both as a person and player.
“He is a great ambassador and role model for our club, for our young players and for the game here in Perth. I am positive he will become a major asset for this club in the years to come.”
Brewer said the appointment of Burns helped address some of the key areas identified in Perth’s review of its coaching and operational structure. The club finished a disappointing eighth last season and is targeting a big campaign in 2014/15.
“I believe Jacob’s exceptionally high standards and work ethic, will assist the club in regaining its winning mentality and creating the stability necessary for future successes,” Brewer said.