Sunderland RCA bolster coaching staff

Sunderland RCA have confirmed that Craig Hodgson has accepted an offer to join their coaching staff ahead of the new Northern League season.

Monday, 13th July 2020, 5:34 pm
Sunderland RCA manager Martin Swales

The former Dunston UTS and Bishop Auckland player is currently preparing for his fifth season with the Northern League Division One club – but he will now take on additional duties as a player-coach.

He steps into the vacancy left by the departure of former Bishop Auckland manager Steve Riley and RCA manager Martin Swales revealed his delight that Hodgson had accepted his offer.

He said: “Craig is very vocal in the dressing room and someone that the players and everyone at the club has great respect for, so it made sense to tap into that and get him involved in the coaching side.

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“Craig knows the club inside out, knows what we all expect and sets his own high standards which rubs off on others. We are all delighted he’s accepted the role.”

Hodgson will work alongside Swales, assistant manager Gary Errington and coach Mark Cowan as they look to help RCA improve on an underwhelming performance in the Northern League’s top tier last season.

Despite starting the campaign with high hopes of securing a third consecutive top five finish, Swales’ side were sat just below mid-table when the coronavirus epidemic curtailed the 2019/20 season earlier this year.

However, that hasn’t stopped Hodgson looking forward to the return to action and taking on his new player-coach role when the all-clear is given for competitive matches to return.

He explained: “As soon as the management team approached me, I knew this was a great opportunity for me.

“I’m excited about the new season and can’t wait to help the team as much as I can on and off the field.

“With the lads who’ve come in and those who’ve stayed I feel like we’re building something really positive again.”

Meanwhile, RCA have revealed that former Newcastle United academy full-back Max Allen has committed to the club.

Swales swooped to bring in the youngster at the start of last season and the RCA boss has high hopes as he returns for a second season with the club.