Ged McNamee set for return to Sunderland academy in recruitment role

Ged McNamee is set to return to Sunderland’s academy as head of recruitment.

Saturday, 25th January 2020, 11:00 am
Updated Sunday, 26th January 2020, 3:07 pm

McNamee spent almost 20 years at the club in his previous spell, twelve of those in the role of Academy Director.

It was a period which saw the club make the successful transition to Category One status under the Elite Player Performance Plan, and also saw the likes of Jordan Henderson and Jordan Pickford rise to first-team level.

He is returning to oversee the academy’s recruitment throughout the age groups, and is expected to start work on Monday.

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Previous head of recruitment, John Tweedy, left the club late last year to join Premier League Wolves, having worked for the club since 2011. The club also lost Paul Midgely, who joined Leeds United.

The Black Cats are therefore in the process of strengthening their academy staff and are currently adverstising for a lead recruitment officer from the U9 to U14 age groups.

McNamee’s most recent role in football saw him take a voluntary role assisting then Hartlepool United caretaker manager Matthew Bates in 2018.

That role became permanent when Bates was handed the job on a full-time basis, and he stayed until the recent departure of Craig Hignett.

After leaving Sunderland in 2016, McNamee said: “I have enjoyed 20 very memorable years at Sunderland and have had some incredible times, including seeing one of our own captain England recently.

“We are starting to see the fruits of many years of hard work from the academy staff, with a number of our home grown players, including Jordan Pickford, making first team debuts in recent months. The academy is in a good place and it feels like the right time for me to hand over the reins.”

McNamee will work under current Academy Director Paul Reid, at a time when the club’s academy is facing a significant challenge retaining some of its best talent.

Logan Pye is expected to complete a move to Manchester United, one of a number of players to join top Premier League clubs in recent times.

Despite its third-tier status, the club remains committed to maintaining it’s category one status.