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Wednesday 07 December 2011

O'Neill appoints backroom staff

New Sunderland boss calls on some familiar faces to aid his cause

Steve Walford (right) worked with Martin O'Neill at a number of clubs, including Aston Villa

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill has begun the process of forming his backroom team at the club.

O'Neill has appointed Steve Walford as his new first-team coach and Seamus McDonagh as his goalkeeping coach.

The 53-year-old Walford has spent a number of years serving under O'Neill, dating back to when the pair were together at Wycombe, and he has followed him to Leicester, Celtic and Aston Villa.

"I think we work pretty well together"
- Martin O'Neill

McDonagh, 59, had a brief loan spell as a goalkeeper for Sunderland in the 1985-86 season and joins the Black Cats following a period on the coaching staff at with Hull City.

"Steve and I have worked together for quite some considerable time, while Seamus was with me at Leicester City and Aston Villa," said O'Neill.

"I know what they are capable of doing and the outlook they have on things. I think we work pretty well together."

O'Neill officially took over as Sunderland manager on Monday and will oversee his first match when the Black Cats face Blackburn on Sunday.

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Key Points

  • Martin O'Neill took over as manager on Monday
  • Brought in Steve Walford as first-team coach
  • Seamus McDonagh takes over as goalkeeping coach