SUNDERLAND will step up their efforts to recruit the best teenage talent by appointing Everton’s Danny Philpott to their academy set-up.
The Echo understands Philpott is poised to join Sunderland as assistant academy manager, with the specific remit of searching for the most promising youngsters to bring to the Stadium of Light.
Philpott has been working as Everton’s head of national and international recruitment, and has enjoyed success in that role with the Toffees.
But Sunderland have managed to prise him away from Goodison Park and he is set to take up a role working alongside academy manager Ged McNamee.
McNamee is thought to have been instrumental in the appointment, with Philpott poised to begin work at the Academy of Light imminently.
Philpott has played his part in a fruitful Everton academy, which has seen midfielder Ross Barkley join Sunderland academy graduate Jordan Henderson in the England set-up.
Everton were champions of the Under-18 Premier League last season, with England U17 skipper Ryan Ledson earning a spot on the first-team bench last season.
Both Sunderland chairman Ellis Short and sporting director Lee Congerton have placed great emphasis on continuing the success of the club’s category one academy which has produced the likes of Henderson and Jack Colback.
Congerton has immediately put his stamp on Sunderland’s hopes of producing homegrown first-team players during his seven months at the Stadium of Light.
Robbie Stockdale has taken charge of the U21 side so far this season - albeit that appointment is yet to be formalised - after Kevin Ball was moved into an ambassadorial role by the club, following reconstructive knee surgery.
And Duncan Watmore, Tom Beadling, Lynden Gooch and Martin Smith - some the most promising members of the Under-21 side - have all penned new contracts at the club since the start of the season.