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Thelwell to leave Wolves to take up New York head of sport post

Wolves sporting director Kevin Thelwell admits it has been a ‘pleasure and a privilege’ to work for the club as he prepares to leave for a new challenge in the United States with New York Red Bulls.

The 46-year-old, who has been at Wolves for more than 11 years, is to leave this month to take up the newly-created role as head of sport at New York Red Bulls.

Thelwell first came to Molineux as as Academy manager, then head of football development and recruitment, before becoming sporting director in 2016.

In August last year, Thelwell was appointed to the Wolves board, a role he will now relinquish as he and his family move to the USA so he can take up a new position at the MLS club.

Thelwell said: “To work at Wolves for the length of time that I have has been both a pleasure and a privilege.

When I first took over as sporting director, we were on the brink of being relegated to League One, and when I look at the progress made and where the club is today, I am proud to have played my part.”

Wolves chairman Jeff Shi said: “Kevin has excelled in his role and has helped us build exceptional teams throughout Compton, in the Academy, recruitment, medical and analysis departments.

The role of a sporting director is much broader than most people think, with a variety of different complexities and challenges, and without a doubt Kevin has fulfilled the expectations of the board and I over the last three-and-a-half years.

While there is of course natural sadness to see Kevin depart, his desire to embark on a new chapter was something we discussed openly together and we all wish him the best of luck in his new role.

Every departure is a chance to build an even stronger team, and I will assume Kevin’s roles and responsibilities while we take this opportunity to review our structure and make sure we are as efficient as we can be, and built for future success.”

Thelwell added: “I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone at the club, and of course the fans, for making the club what it is today.

I am sure there are many more great times ahead and I look forward to watching and supporting from a distance.

Thelwell is delighted to be taking up the new challenge.

It was always going to take something special for me to leave Wolves and I feel very lucky to have been offered such an exciting new challenge for both my family and I in the United States,” he said.

I am both honoured and excited to join the New York Red Bulls. When this opportunity presented itself, I was given the chance to meet people within the organisation to learn more about the club and soon realized that this was the right place for me.

I look forward to the opportunity to work in Major League Soccer and continue the club’s pursuit of competing for MLS Cup.”

New York Red Bulls general manager Marc de Grandpre said: “On behalf of everyone at the organisation, I’d like to welcome Kevin to our club.

Kevin has a tremendous resume and demonstrated experience helping a club attain new levels of success with Wolverhampton.

He is well respected within the international soccer community and fits well within our culture.

This is a welcome addition as we continue our pursuit of delivering the MLS Cup to our fans.”

As head of sport, Thelwell will have oversight on all aspects of the sporting side of the club.

Sporting director Denis Hamlett will remain in charge of day-to-day football operations and report to Thelwell.

Thelwell becomes the second head of department at Wolves to leave for the MLS in a matter of weeks after head of medical Phil Hayward recently joined LA Galaxy.