English League 1

Hunt leaves Red Devils

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Mon, 10 Jun 2013 18:47:00

Sunderland have confirmed the appointment of Italian Roberto De Fanti in a newly-created director of football role at the Stadium of Light.

De Fanti, who helped the club lure Paolo Di Canio as manager, is joined by new chief scout Valentino Angeloni in a restructure of the club's player recruitment department.

De Fanti and Angeloni, formerly head of scouting at Inter Milan, have previously worked together at Udinese, as well as Inter.

Sunderland's CEO, Margaret Byrne, told the club's official website: "Roberto and Valentino bring with them a wealth of experience, knowledge and football contacts from across Europe and indeed the world and we are delighted to welcome them to Sunderland.

"The recruitment of players is of course key for any football club and Roberto and Valentino will work closely with the head coach and the board to identify targets as we look to strengthen our squad for next season and beyond.

"I would also like to extend our thanks to the president of Inter Milan, Massimo Moratti, who graciously agreed to allow Valentino to make the move to Sunderland."

Reports have suggested new Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has made highly-rated winger Draxler one of his top targets as he prepares for his second stint in charge at Stamford Bridge.

Draxler is regarded as one of the best young prospects in Europe with the 19-year-old already an established member of the Germany side.

Schalke 04 general manager Horst Heldt insists they have no enquiry from Chelsea about Draxler, but it is not surprised to hear other clubs are interested in the skilful midfielder.

"I have heard nothing about it," Heldt told BILD. "There has been no official transfer enquiry from Chelsea FC incoming and we are also in no touch with that club actually.

"Still it is a fact there are always clubs considering the qualities of players like Julian Draxler. Of course!"

Wright has been named as the Perth outfit's new manager after Lomas quit to take over at Championship side Millwall.

Saints chairman Steve Brown has also announced that current McDiarmid defender Callum Davidson will act as the new boss' number two.

And Millar - Saints' second-longest serving player - says Brown has made the correct call in promoting Wright to the top job.

He said: "Tommy is the right man for the job. His appointment will bring continuity to what we did last season.

"He was a big part of the success we has last year being Steve's assistant and bringing in Callum as his number two is a really good move as well. He knows all the boys and will bring a great deal of experience as well.

"He's played at a really high level and it's a really good appointment. All the boys in the dressing room are really happy with it I'm sure.

"We will miss the gaffer with him going south. He did a fantastic job. But it was a move he wanted with his family being down there and it was the right time for him."

Wright is currently on a family holiday but will be unveiled at a press conference on Tuesday, June 18.

Lomas stepped down from his post to take over at the New Den after leading St Johnstone to a European slot for the second successive season.

The former West Ham midfielder replaced Derek McInnes in November 2011 and was joined at the Clydesdale Bank Premier League club by former Northern Ireland goalkeeper Wright a short time afterwards.

Millar believes that Wright has got the right credentials to continue the club's impressive development.

"The guys who have been managing St Johnstone recently have all gone on to do well for themselves with Owen Coyle, Derek McInnes and now Steve Lomas," he said. "I'm hoping that will continue with Tommy and we have more good times."

Wright started his coaching career as a goalkeeping specialist under Glenn Roeder at Norwich but made his move into management with Limavady United in his homeland in November 2003.

Spells in charge of Ballymena United and Lisburn Distillery - where he led the Whites to the Irish League Cup in 2011 - followed before he made the move to Scotland to work alongside his former international team-mate Lomas.

But Millar insists the two men are not carbon copies of one another, saying: "Tommy and Steve are different kinds of people. Steve had great passion and great drive.

"But Tommy had more to do with the organisational stuff and was very methodical.

"It will be funny seeing him as the gaffer, though. It's the first time I've been in the situation where an assistant has been made boss. Our relationship might change as he might want to distance himself a bit more from the players now.

"But he was always great to talk to. A couple of times when I was coming up for contract talks he made time for me to give me some good advice and I'm sure that will continue. I'm looking forward to working with him and Callum."

The full-back is leaving the Broadfield Stadium despite having a year left on his deal following 91 appearances and two promotions.

Manager Richie Barker told the club website: "We are parting with Hunty on good terms.

"He has always been the consummate professional and we thank him for his tremendous service to the football club and wish him well for the remainder of his career."

Hunt, who moved to the Sussex club in January 2011, added: "I'm not leaving on bad terms and I would only ever have good things to say about the club.

"There have been so many highlights and it is difficult to pick one when you have been involved in back-to-back promotions and played at Old Trafford in the FA Cup.

"To be part of as club that has risen from non-league to be an established League One team has been one of the most rewarding periods of my career and I am proud to have played my part.

"Along with Brentford, I have had some of the best years of my career at Crawley and I will always have a soft spot for them and look out for their results.

"I have made some great friends at the club and the fans have been brilliant to me. I will miss them and I just want to wish the club all the best for the future."

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