SHEFFIELD UNITED: Delight for David at return to Blades

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FORMER Sheffield United defender David Unsworth has expressed at his delight at becoming the club’s new head of academy coaching.

As The Star reported earlier this week, the 39-year-old has agreed to return to Bramall Lane five years after leaving the club to join Wigan Athletic.

Unsworth, who was part of the United squad that won promotion to the Premier League at the end of the 2005/06 season, said: “I’m delighted to return to the club in what is one of the finest academies in the country.

“It will be fantastic to work alongside all the coaches, staff and players in a club that continues to stand out in the excellence of producing home grown talent.”

Unsworth, who has recently been coaching at Preston North End, was one of two key appointments the Blades confirmed yesterday in their academy restructure to comply with Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) guidelines. Nick Cox, formerly of Watford, will join the ranks as academy manager from January 1.

Of the two new arrivals, John Stephenson, United’s head of football operations, said: “Nick’s track record at Watford is outstanding where he presided over about 50 first-team debuts from their Academy during his 10 years there and David has terrific leadership qualities having captained every club he has played at.”

The Blades have applied for Category Two status and are one of only a handful clubs outside the top two tiers of English football to do this. Category Two status ensures the club’s younger players continue to compete against clubs of the size and stature of Manchester United and Manchester City.