New Sunderland coach reveals key reason behind career change as he gets to work at the Stadium of Light

Craig Samson gets to work at Sunderland AFC.
Craig Samson gets to work at Sunderland AFC.
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Craig Samson has revealed being part of Jack Ross' Sunderland vision was too good an opportunity to pass up.

The former St Mirren keeper started work at the Academy of Light on Thursday and today had his first experience of the Stadium of Light matchday, warming up keepers Jon McLaughlin and Robbin Ruiter ahead of the Wycombe Wanderers League One clash.

Craig Samson gets to work at Sunderland AFC.

Craig Samson gets to work at Sunderland AFC.

Samson this week sensationally retired at the age of just 34 to take up the position at the Academy of Light, a chance to work under former Buddies boss Jack Ross again.

He replaced Jimmy Walker who last week quit as goalkeeper coach to move to Ipswich Town.

Samson said: “It was a lot to do with the manager to be honest.

"We spoke about it last week and he said he’d like me to come down but he knew it was a big decision because I was playing.

“I just thought it was something I really wanted to do, and it was an opportunity I didn’t want to pass up. I am 34 and not going to play forever.

“Yes, I was playing in the Premier League in Scotland so people might think it is a strange decision, but I have got a family and I had to think about the long-term aspects.

"The size of this football club and where the manager believes he can take it is something I wanted to be a part of.”

As part of the deal, Sunderland will travel north to play a friendly against St Mirren next summer.