Sunderland are said to be closing in on the appointment of David Preece as the club’s new academy coach, with the former Black Cats youth player reported by Swedish publication Expressen to be close to sealing a return to the North East.
Swedish journalist Daniel Kristoffersson states in the report that the ex-goalkeeper is set to sign a deal to become a coach with the Academy of Light as he closes in on a reunion with the club he played for as a youngster during the 1990s.
Having retired in 2015, the shot stopper previously played for the likes of Darlington, Aberdeen and Lincoln City after failing to make a first team appearance for the Black Cats.
Now coaching with Ostersunds FK in the Swedish Allsvenskan, Preece is likely to arrive following yesterday’s announcement about a shake up of Sunderland’s academy, with Lewis Dickman coming in to manage the set up.
Quiz: Did these 15 former Sunderland players leave for a higher or lower fee than they arrived for?
The change in structure within the academy has come into force following a review that was undertaken by sporting director Kristjaan Speakman after he arrived at the club back in December of last year from Birmingham City.
It’s always nice to see a former player returning to their roots and in appointing Preece, Sunderland are bringing back someone who was born in the town they play in.
He comes from great stock with Ostersunds FK having taken on a growing reputation for their forward thinking style of coaching in recent years due to the emergence of the now Brighton and Hove Albion boss Graham Potter during his time in Sweden.
The restructure of the club’s academy is a clear step in the right direction and it shows that the new ownership views getting the most out of the youth system as something of great importance going forwards.
This is just the beginning and it will be interesting to see what other changes take place over the coming months as Kyril Louis-Dreyfus settles into the role.