Coton makes Sunderland return after Villa exit

Coton suffered a leg break that ended his career at Sunderland

Coton suffered a leg break that ended his career at Sunderland

FORMER Manchester United goalkeeping coach Tony Coton is returning to Sunderland, where he suffered a career-ending injury as a player.

The 56-year-old confirmed the move on Twitter, although he would not specify the role he is taking. Coton played for Sunderland under Peter Reid in 1996/7, but suffered a leg break in October 1996 that ended his career.

He subsequently became goalkeeping coach at Manchester United - where he had understudied Peter Schmeichel for six months as a player - and stayed for a decade before a knee injury forced him to step down in 2008.

After that, Coton moved into scouting and recruitment, becoming chief scout at Wigan for six months from October 2014, and then goalkeeper scout (a role we haven’t heard of before) at Aston Villa under former Watford team-mate Tim Sherwood.

Villa promoted Coton to Head of UK Recruitment in November 2016, but he has decided to leave a club crippled by debts and facing an uncertain future. Sunderland have endured a torrid time of their own in recent seasons, suffering successive relegations.

The League One outfit are looking for a new goalkeeper coach following the exit of Adrian Tucker, who had held the position since March 2015, but Coton’s knee injury seems to preclude him from a hands-on coaching role. Instead, he has been linked with a recruitment position at the club.

First-team coach Robbie Stockdale also left the club this week after six years at the Stadium of Light. New manager Jack Ross has just completed his first week with the Black Cats.

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