SUNDERLAND 10 YEARS AGO: Sunderland boss brings in extra coaches

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Here’s what the Echo was reporting on SAFC 10 years ago today.


Sunderland boss brings in extra coaches

ROY KEANE has gone back to Manchester United to boost his backroom team at Sunderland.

 The Black Cats’ boss has recruited Mike Clegg from the Old Trafford Academy to work as strength and conditioning coach on Wearside.

 Clegg played in the youth team at United before graduating to the first-team, the full-back making nine Premiership appearances for the Red Devils and playing three times in the Champions League – including a quarter-final against Monaco in 1998, when Alex Ferguson’s men went down on away goals.

 One of his eight League Cup appearances for Ferguson was against Sunderland, who triumphed 2-1 at the Stadium of Light in a November 2000 clash that saw Dwight Yorke score for the visitors and then get sent off.

 Unable to force his way in as a first-team regular, Clegg joined Oldham Athletic in 2002, playing 51 times before being released two years ago and returning to Old Trafford to work as a conditioning coach at the United academy.

 The 29-year-old said: “I know Roy from my time at Manchester United; I know what type of character he is.

 “He’s very professional in his approach to everything and when I got the call from him it was an opportunity I just couldn’t turn down.

 “To work for him and at such a big club like Sunderland is fantastic and I really want to help make a success of things here.”

 Keane, who had told the Echo recently that he was set to expand his backroom staff, as also appointed Scott Ainsley as fitness coach and sports scientist to the first team.

 The 31-year-old Sunderland University graduate has been working with the club’s academy players on a part-time basis since 1999.

 Ainsley said: “I’m very excited to be coming on board in this new role.

 “I’ll be working alongside the existing staff to maximise the potential of our players, both individually and as a group, ensuring they are in the best possible condition to meet the demands of the game.”

 Keane, who tool his players on a sunshine break to Portugal this week, expects the squad to reap the rewards of extra guidance on conditioning.

 He said: “I’ve always said that I would be looking at bringing in staff to complement our existing backroom team and I think Mike and Scott will do that.

 “They are both highly qualified and experienced in their fields and I’m sure our players will benefit from working with them.”