PAUL Cox hopes to build up an extensive scouting network across the North West and beyond to help Barrow AFC be first on the scene when talented players become available.

The Holker Street manager appointed Paul Ogden as chief scout last week as part of a rejig of the club’s backroom set-up.

He hopes there were further scouts added to the network, working on a part-time basis, to ensure Barrow cover as many teams at as many levels as possible and have a better view of which players are available.

The network is something Cox has felt was missing since his appointment as AFC manager in November, and he is pleased to have started the process of rectifying that gap.

“We go back to when I first came into the club,” he said. “I have had so many conversations with the chairman (Paul Casson), Austin (Straker, AFC chief executive) and the board about how to take this club forward.

“I am fiercely passionate about taking this club forward and there have been some hard decisions which have had to be made.

“Speaking to the chairman and the board, all the decisions we are making – not just the staff but other decisions as well – will be taken with the club’s best interests as heart, to take it forward and move it forward.

“Paul (Ogden) coming into the job, I feel that’s what Barrow has missed. We want to go and get the best players who are playing at this level, but also some of the better youngsters in the North West, North East, Midlands – even to an extent the South – spot them at an early age and bring them into our environment. We want to work with them, nurture them into the first team and produce good players who can be sold on for a profit for Barrow.

“We’ve got to be mindful of the fact that Paul Casson isn’t an endless pit of money. I think the long-term goal is to make the club financially sustainable and not just rely on Paul.

“Paul has been absolutely committed in trying to create a different environment and push us into a position where we are pushing towards the Football League.”

Cox has already brought in a handful of new faces since taking over the reins at Barrow, with Jordan Williams signed from Northwich Victoria and both Michael Donohue and Ben Tomlinson joining on loan.

He is keen to find more young talent out there who can develop with the Bluebirds – having spent Saturday afternoon watching Northwich once again, while new assistant boss Gary Simpson saw Halifax take on next week’s National League opponents Forest Green Rovers.

“With Paul Ogden’s experience, his know-how and his contacts, we want to be the first to get to hear about good young players, players who might have missed the boat in the Football League and have dropped back into non-league football, or players who are being released,” said Cox. “We want Barrow to be the first club to know about that.

“We want a network of contacts, people on the ground, being able to use the football grapevine. More importantly, it’s about having people with a good vision who can see a good player.

“I will have the final say on a player coming in, so I will have to be at the games anyway. There will be nothing changing with my circumstances, but we can cast the net a bit wider to try and bring in players who aren’t necessarily just in the North West.”