Football latest

Beale back in football as boss of Sunderland

Michael Beale
Ideas: Michael Beale

Former Rangers boss Michael Beale is back in football as head coach of English Championship side Sunderland.

The 43-year-old, who was sacked by Rangers at the start of October, has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal at the Stadium of Light.

He replaces Tony Mowbray.

The Londoner won 31 of 43 games in charge at Ibrox but a stuttering start to the current league campaign which saw three losses in the opening seven fixtures, saw him axed.

Sunderland sporting director Kristjaan Speakman said: “We have monitored Michael’s career for some time and we are delighted to have reached an agreement for him to become our new head coach.

“He has an excellent and well-founded reputation for developing players and he is an outstanding progressive coach, who is aligned with our playing identity.”

“It’s a huge honour to be joining the Sunderland family and I would like to thank Kyril, Kristjaan and the rest of the executive team for the faith and responsibility they have placed in me,” said Beale.

“It’s clear there is some excellent work being done at senior and academy level and I’m excited to support those efforts and implement my own ideas, as we build on the strong identity already established within the club.”

Promotion: Graeme Jones

Jones steps up as SFA performance director

Graeme Jones has been appointed Scottish FA performance director to help drive forward the success of Scotland’s national teams at all levels.

His promotion follows eight years at the association, the last six of which have been spent as head of high performance.

The enhanced role will bring performance oversight across men’s and women’s national teams from A squad down, with responsibility for implementing a world-class system and winning culture to ensure all international players – current and future – are inspired to deliver success.

Jones will lead all performance support areas within the association, including sports science, medicine, analysis, data, scouting and talent identification, for all international teams, to ensure the smoothest possible transition for players entering the international arena.

“Preparation is a key element of my new role and I look forward to reinforcing the excellent relationships I have with the respective national team head coaches as well as the players at the various stages of their international careers,” he said.

“The culture of performance has improved dramatically during my time at the association and the role of performance director is key to enhancing the experience for players within the set-up but also to provide a consistency and expectation for every player who enters the international pathway.

“It is important we have an overarching strategy and philosophy, but it is essential that it is data-led and player-informed, to make sure we have can provide a tailored approach for each individual and to give clubs the comfort that their players have the best experience possible while on international duty. The football department at the association and the network of specialists we call upon from clubs will be integral to our future success and I look forward to supporting them as we seek to continue to raise the standards of performance on and off the field.”

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