Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Kees Exits Academy

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Kees Exits Academy

Article excerpt

Byline: By Simon Rushworth

Mick McCarthy will personally oversee the development of Sunderland's emerging stars as the Black Cats continue to restructure the overall running of a club preparing for a second season in the First Division.

Last night's announcement that Academy Director Kees Zwamborn will leave the club just 14 months after taking up his post was hardly unexpected following the Wearsiders' failure to regain their top-flight status.

And McCarthy will take advantage of another necessary cost-cutting measure by working closely with those players identified as pivotal to Sunderland's long- term future.

The combination of limited transfer funds and last week's cull of senior players has emphasised the need to develop first-team talent from within the club's junior ranks.

But Dutchman Zwamborn, who signed a lucrative contract following his high-profile move from Ajax, will not be the coach charged with progressing the Black Cats' emerging youth after McCarthy agreed to take overall responsibility for player development.

"Kees has done a superb job in transforming and modernising our academy operations and has put in place all the necessary systems and processes for us to make best use of our world class academy facilities," explained vice chairman John Fickling.

"However, we appointed Kees as a Premiership club with the associated financial resources. Sadly, circumstances have changed and that is no longer the case.

In the current climate there is a need to reduce costs whilst maintaining a quality Academy operation. This is why we have, regrettably, agreed to part company.

"We would like to thank Kees for the job he has done and we wish him all the best for the future."

Zwamborn has, according to Sunderland insiders, transformed Sunderland's junior section during his short stay on Wearside and the decision to release one of Europe's most innovative coaches was not taken easily. …

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