Sunderland have appointed Mark Taylor as the club’s new performance director – with responsibility for many of the club’s key football operations.
Taylor, who is reunited with Sam Allardyce, who he worked with at Blackpool, Bolton and Newcastle, is oversee the sports science, strength and conditioning, medical, performance analysis and the first-team coaching staff.
Allardyce said: “Areas such as sports science and performance analysis are absolutely crucial in the modern game.
“Mark has a tremendous amount of experience and expertise in these key disciplines and he will help us to ensure that our players reach their maximum potential.
“I am delighted to welcome Mark to the club.”
Taylor, who was born in Hartlepool and made 45 appearances for his hometown club, arrives on Wearside with a wealth of experience spanning over 20 years in English football.
Taylor added: “I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to work with Sam again, especially at a club with such a great history and tradition.
“I was born and brought up in the North East so this appointment takes on an extra special resonance for me.
“There is a good group of players and staff at the club. Of course we all recognise we are in a special situation at the moment and we know we need to improve.
“That is the challenge ahead for me and everyone involved with the first-team and I can’t wait to get started.”
After leaving Pools, Taylor played for Crewe Alexandra, Blackpool, Cardiff City and Wrexham.
After the end of his playing career, Taylor graduated with a BSc in physiotherapy and an MSc in sports science, where he went on to first link up with Allardyce at Blackpool in 1995.
Taylor went on to work with Roy Hodgson and Graeme Souness at Blackburn Rovers, as the club qualified for Europe, before linking up with Allardyce once again at Bolton Wanderers, as Head of Sports Science and Medicine.
A spell at Newcastle United followed, before heading to Craven Cottage where he worked alongside Roy Hodgson, overseeing one of the club’s most successful periods, including reaching the Europa League final, as Head of Sports Medicine and Exercise Science.