Sunderland appoint ex-Boro defender to coaching staff

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FORMER Middlesbrough defender Robbie Stockdale is set to be appointed to Sunderland’s youth set-up, writes Chris Young.

Stockdale has been working as youth coach at Grimsby Town, but the Mariners yesterday confirmed the 32-year-old had been giving permission to speak to Sunderland.

The ex-Scotland international full-back is expected to work alongside former Boro team-mate and Sunderland youth-team coach Craig Liddle.

A statement from Grimsby said: “Sunderland had approached the club some time ago and asked if they could speak to the Town coach.

“They have been totally professional throughout their negotiations with Grimsby Town Football Club and with Robbie Stockdale.

“We would like to thank Robbie and wish him all the best for the future.

“As part of the deal, Sunderland have kindly agreed to send their first-team squad for a pre-season friendly game next summer.”

Sunderland have boosted their coaching ranks at the Academy of Light as part of the Premier League’s new Elite Player Performance Plan for youth development.

Former Hartlepool midfielder Stuart Brightwell has also joined the staff as a skills coach.