Sunderland reveal new youth set-up as under-23 coach Andy Welsh leaves for Wigan Athletic

Andy Welsh is leaving Sunderland
Andy Welsh is leaving Sunderland

Sunderland have confirmed the departure of Andy Welsh to Wigan Athletic, with Elliott Dickman taking over as Under-23 coach.

Originally from the North West, Welsh has previously worked at Manchester City, Manchester United and Leeds United and he coached alongside Wigan boss Warren Joyce during his time with Manchester United and at Royal Antwerp in Belgium.

Sunderland have wished him well, with long-serving Dickman taking over as Under-23 coach assisted by academy coach and former Sunderland player Cliff Byrne.

A Sunderland statement read: "Under 23s coach Andy Welsh is to leave the club to take up the role of assistant manager at Wigan Athletic FC.

"Sunderland AFC would like to thank Andy for his service and wish him well in his new role.

"Long-serving assistant academy manager Elliott Dickman will take charge of Sunderland’s under 23 side, assisted by academy coach and former Sunderland player Cliff Byrne."

Dickman follows in the footsteps of first-team coach Robbie Stockdale, who progressed from the club’s academy set up to the under 23s and then to the first team.

Academy coach Mark Atkinson is to step up to the role of under 18s manager, continuing his upward progress since joining the club in 2006.

Sunderland AFC’s chief football officer, Simon Wilson said: "Our Academy is not only about developing Sunderland players it is also about developing Sunderland coaches.

"Therefore, as a club, we are really keen that we can promote from within.

"The coach development programme at Sunderland is something we take great pride and care in and ensures that when we do promote our coaches, they are fully ready for their next step."

Former Manchester City academy manager Welsh was appointed as Sunderland’s Under-21 - now under-23 - coach in October 2015 after predecessor Robbie Stockdale was promoted to first-team coach in Sam Allardyce’s backroom team.

He joins Wigan as head of coaching with responsibility for all first team and under 23 coaching.

Welsh said: "Warren is someone I know very well and we share the same philosophy and ideas in terms of coaching.

"I am delighted to be joining Wigan Athletic, there is an excellent group of players here and I can’t wait to get started."

Long-serving Sunderland academy manager Ged McNamee and assistant academy manager Danny Philpott have also left the club in recent months.