Former Black Cats star Martin Scott is taking over coaching at Sunderland College as it looks to take its football development centre courses to the next level.
The college, which has spent almost £50million on redevelopment in recent years, is aiming to become a first-class footballing hub.
Scott has won the contract to deliver elite football at the new sports academy at the Bede Campus, in Durham Road.
His Improtech Soccer company has pioneered football in education at Kepier School in Houghton for six years.
The coaching specialists now have the chance to do for 16-19-year-old men and women’s prospects what they have been doing for schoolboy players for the past half dozen years - improving their technique to the point where many have signed for professional football academies.
The former left-back said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us and we are buzzing.
“Our commitment to Kepier remains and we are proud of what we have achieved there but bringing Improtech into Sunderland College is a natural next step.
“It allows us to extend our coaching across a new age range and it will be no surprise if Kepier pupils are among the elite intake at the college in the years to come.
“We want to make Sunderland College the natural first choice for talented young players who still want to make the most of their football ability after leaving school.”
Sunderland footballer Ethan Robson, who was the very first Improtech student, added: “I benefited from Improtech when I was at school and the more young players experiencing Improtech coaching the better for them.”