Harper returns to Newcastle to link first team and Academy

Harper is the longest-serving player in Newcastle's history

Harper is the longest-serving player in Newcastle's history

STEVE HARPER has returned to Newcastle United as first-team coach to provide a link between the Academy and first team.

As TGG has reported, more and more clubs are appointing specific Development Coaches for this role. That isn’t Harper’s official position, but it will be a big part of his remit.

The former Magpies goalkeeper, who is their longest-serving player, previously worked as Lead Academy Goalkeeping Coach for the club before leaving in May to focus on his work with Northern Ireland.

Manager Steve Bruce, who managed Harper at Hull City, said: "Since I came through the door, I have had a big interest in what our Academy is producing. With the difficulty of being on two sites, I think it's vitally important that we have a link between the two and certainly, Steve Harper will give us a better link.

"He's somebody who I had the pleasure of managing, he's went on to do his coaching badges, and he's one of that 'young brigade' who can do a little bit of coaching, but just as importantly, will give us a stronger bridge in between the first team and the Academy.

"We welcome Steve aboard. I'm sure he'll do a great job."

Manager Steve Bruce, who managed Harper at Hull City, said: "Since I came through the door, I have had a big interest in what our Academy is producing. With the difficulty of being on two sites, I think it's vitally important that we have a link between the two and certainly, Steve Harper will give us a better link.

"He's somebody who I had the pleasure of managing, he's went on to do his coaching badges, and he's one of that 'young brigade' who can do a little bit of coaching, but just as importantly, will give us a stronger bridge in between the first team and the Academy."

Harper, who will continue to work for Northern Ireland during the Euro 2020 play-offs and the tournament itself, should they qualify, added: "I'm looking forward to it. The manager said to me he'd like me to come in with a role around the first team, but more than just that.

"I'll officially be a first team coach, but with a conduit for keeping an eye on, and almost as a link to, the under-23s, who I worked with last season, and the Academy where I've worked in various capacities over the last three years. So it made sense, and I'm looking forward to getting started."

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CoachingNewcastle United

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