Stewart Donald provides financial boost to Sunderland’s academy as Elliott Dickman reveals its ‘huge’ impact
Stewart Donald has sanctioned increased investment in Sunderland’s academy - with Elliott Dickman hailing the ‘huge’ impact it could have on the club’s youth development.
There were some minor cuts to the Wearsiders’ category one academy last term, as the effects of relegation to League One began to be felt.
But it was suggested towards the end of the 2018/19 campaign that the Black Cats’ owner had agreed to extra finances being pumped into the club’s youth set-up, and Dickman has now revealed some more details on the impact Donald’s investment is having.
This season has seen a permanent assistant manager appointed to the club’s under-23 side, while the second string will also be able to benefit from additional support on match days and in the build-up to games.
And Dickman believes such a financial boost can only serve to benefit the club’s current crop of youngsters as they look to make an impact in the first team.
“It’s huge for us,” he said, speaking to the Echo.
“To run a category one programme, it’s not easy and there were certain things that Paul [Reid, Academy Director] and the hierarchy evaluated last season.
“There were little bits of cuts to the programme and we all understood that.
“Now, having had discussions with Paul, there might be some sort of investment to help us and support with what we do on match days and the day before games.
“That will definitely benefit and help the players.
“Initially they want to take stock and review exactly what was going on, what was needed and not needed, and come this season they’re having another look.
“There’s been more money invested on staff in the academy too,” he continued.
“Michael Proctor is now full-time working as my assistant.
“That’s going to help myself, but more importantly is going to help the players because they’ve got two people to go and see.
“We’ve got a good team of staff now and the fact the club have invested in that can only be positive.”
The Black Cats’ under-23 side continue their season tomorrow (Sunday, August 18) as they face Norwich City at Eppleton CW.