Ex-Sunderland promotion-winning coach reflects on 'incredible' stint under Simon Grayson in India

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The former Sunderland player and coach has returned from a stint working in India.

Former Sunderland player and coach David Preece has reflected on an “incredible” stint working in India with Simon Grayson.

The 47-year-old Wearside-born former goalkeeper came up through the ranks at Sunderland before enjoying stints with Darlington, Aberdeen, Barnsley and Lincoln City, as well as several stints abroad, before becoming a coach and regular pundit.

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Preece returned to Sunderland during their last campaign in the third tier and took the role of goalkeeping coach as the Black Cats were finally promoted from League One under Alex Neil after four long seasons. Preece worked closely with the emerging Anthony Patterson during his break-out six months in the Black Cats’ first team.

Preece, though, left Sunderland the following season but has spent the last nine months working under former Black Cats boss Simon Grayson in India. Taking to social media following his return, Preece said: “After an incredible 9 months, it’s time for home and the next adventure. Hugely grateful to @SimonNGrayson for the opportunity and everyone at @bengalurufc for their support and the lifelong friendships I’ve made. Football’s amazing, but it’s good people that make it that way.”

Former Sunderland and Leeds United boss Grayson took the Bengaluru back in 2022 but departed in December 2023 with Preece seemingly continuing his work with the club following Grayson’s exit. The Indian Super League club appointed former assistant head coach Gerard Zaragoza as head coach until 2025.

Grayson, 54, took charge of 18 Sunderland games between June and October 2017 before being sacked on Halloween after winning just three games during his stint with the club in the Championship. The Black Cats would go on to be relegated to League One under Chris Coleman.

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