With the football club preparing for their inaugural Premier League campaign, Huddersfield Town’s Head of Football Operations David Moss is understandably a busy man.
Yet when the 48-year-old has taken a break from contributing to key decision-making in a transfer window which has already seen nine players join the club this summer, he is picking up a Master of Sport Directorship degree from Manchester Metropolitan University.
The qualification, the first of its kind in the UK, is the culmination of two years’ hard-work in tandem with his previous role as chief talent scout at Celtic, before moving to the John Smith’s Stadium earlier this summer.
But ever since playing days which took in destinations as far and wide as Boston United, Falkirk and Swansea City, the cutting-edge role of a Sporting Director/Head of Football Operations was a route the Doncaster-born Moss wanted to pursue.
His honour, among a cohort of other professional sports people including Michael Appleton, Ashley Giles and Sean O’Driscoll, not only marks a realisation of this, but also brings an air of legitimacy to his new-found career.
Focusing on sports governance and best practice, leadership and innovation, the role acts as a strategic link between all departments within a club - from boardroom to coaching and organisational staff.
An ideal position for a man who clearly likes to juggle more than one ball at a time – Moss previously combining his playing career with running a business for six years up until the age of 28.
And Moss also believes the work he is currently undertaking is the future of football, stating so with an air of confidence but simultaneously not a hint of arrogance.
Speaking exclusively to the Examiner ahead of the degree ceremony, Moss said: “A football manager or head coach in the modern-day game could only be at a club for 13/14 months.
“With the amount of money involved in the game, I don’t think a football club owner or chairman can give all the jewels of the crown to someone who ultimately may not be there in a year’s time.
“They need a person who will be there for the long-term - a footballing expert to implement their strategy throughout the club in conjunction with the relevant head coach at the time.”
A role that has previously been derided by old-time bosses who claim it ultimately undermines the position of the manager, Moss is quick to pour scorn on any such accusation.
“Those that say the role undermines the manager don’t understand it,” asserts Moss. “Working with David (Wagner) is an equal thing – we share the same office, we talk four or five times a day – sometimes as late as 11 o’clock at night.
“Naturally we might not agree on everything but the communication with David is both open and excellent – as it is with the Chief Executive (Julian Winter) and owner (Dean Hoyle).
“Since I’ve come in, everything has been great – I know it is early days and still very much the honeymoon period but everything is perfect at the moment.”
A hardly surprising statement for a footballing pioneer who has found himself at a forward-thinking, dynamic football club – something Moss himself is quick to acknowledge.
“The position is not new to the football club and the work they have done is something I am hoping to emuluate.
“But David Wagner has to take massive credit for what was achieved last season.
“I’ve worked with a number of coaches in the past, including Brendan Rodgers at Celtic last season and David is up there with them – I am very impressed with what he has done so far.”
So what does the future hold for the blossoming relationship between Huddersfield Town, David Wagner and Moss - the man responsible for plucking the highly-rated Moussa Dembele from Fulham to Celtic for a paltry £500k?
“Well we’ve done our business early, which I think is a big advantage as we’re able to bed the new players in during the pre-season friendlies,” he answered.
“We’ll always be on the lookout for good players with great potential who can go on to do well for the club or be sold.
“We’ve done most of our work for the summer now, but if something interesting comes up then we will do it, if not, we’re happy with what we’ve got.”