Sunderland AFC news: Cats add ex-Coventry City and Birmingham City man as Kristjaan Speakman revolution continues

The Black Cats have confirmed another addition to the set-up at the Academy of Light.

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 5:19 pm

Sunderland today announced the appointment of Mike Dodds as the club’s head of individual player development as the revolution at the Academy of Light under sporting director Kristjaan Speakman continues.

The newly created role will see Dodds will on ‘personalised development’ across the club’s Under-18s and Under-23s teams.

And Dodds will also be tasked with identifying and implementing bespoke programmes for each individual player based on their unique requirements.

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Sunderland's Academy of Light training base.

Dodds has worked with EFL clubs Coventry City and Birmingham City and has carried out duties with the Football Association by presenting on various courses.

Head of coaching Stuart English said to the club’s website: “Mike has a fantastic enthusiasm for player development.

"He’s incredibly well respected and naturally had opportunities elsewhere, so it is a great endorsement of what we are doing that he felt this was the right place for him.

“In addition to the teams, his focus will be on the individual aspects of our coaching programme across the Under-18s and Under-23s, ensuring that each player receives an optimised and personalised development programme.

"We believe he will be a valuable addition to our existing backroom team and we are delighted to welcome him to Sunderland AFC.”

Since Speakman’s appointment as sporting director last season, Sunderland have appointed several new faces at the Academy of Light.

Dodds joins a set-up that includes Speakman and English, alongside head of player recruitment, Stuart Harvey, and head coach Lee Johnson.

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