Nick Cox, director of the Steelphalt Sheffield United Academy, has described Brian Deane’s return to Shirecliffe as a major coup for the League One club.
Deane, a former England international who made over 220 appearances for United during his playing career, has been appointed to work with young strikers enrolled on a programme recently named by the Premier League among English football’s best hubs for home-grown talent.
“Brian has played at the highest level and amassed a wealth of experience and knowledge during his time in the game,” Cox told The Star last night. “Being able to expose our players to that, being able to let them benefit from that, is a huge plus for us.
“The coaching staff is the strongest it’s been during my time here. There’s a real balance and that’s going to be invaluable moving forward as we look to build even more.”
Deane, aged 47, joins the likes of Derek Geary and Mick Wadsworth behind the scenes at the Steelphalt academy while former Stockport County defender Keith Briggs has also come on board. Deane also boasts managerial experience with Norwegian club Sarpsborg and will use his contacts within Scandinavian football to help expand United’s recruitment network.
“As everyone knows I have never really severed my links with The Blades,” Deane said. “They have always been my club,” said Deane who played 224 games for United in three spells scoring 94 goals and made three appearances for England.
“Following discussions with vice-chairman David Green and Nick, we identified I could work with the emerging strikers, passing on my experiences from the game, coaching and generally help with the development of the strikers across a number of age groups.”
Meanwhile, Deane and former manager Dave Bassett, will be reunited with the majority of the playing squad which 25 years ago clinched promotion to the top flight of English football at a celebration event next month.
Tony Agana, Carl Bradshaw, Dane Whitehouse, Ian Bryson, Mitch Ward, Simon Tracey, Peter Duffield, Paul Stancliffe, Graham Benstead, Mark Morris and Paul Wood are also scheduled to attend the dinner, which takes place at Bramall Lane on October 24.
Tickets, priced £60 each or £450 (plus VAT) for a table of 10, are available by telephoning 0114 2537200.