Sunderland in Malta link-up

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SUNDERLAND have agreed a partnership to advise a new Malta-based football academy, spearheaded by former Sheffield United stopper Justin Haber.

The Black Cats will collaborate with the Justin Haber Academy on the Mediterranean island, where youngsters aged between six and 17 will receive coaching aimed at fulfilling their dreams of playing professionally.

Sunderland will share their coaching expertise and experience of the academy system to the centre, which is due to open in September.

Black Cats academy manager Ged McNamee said: “This represents a great opportunity for Sunderland to share the ethos of its academy programme in a country that has a real passion for football.

“Justin is hugely committed and enthusiastic about developing a structured football coaching programme in Malta to give youngsters the best possible opportunity to fulfil their footballing dreams and Sunderland are delighted to be sharing his vision.”