News today in the Newcastle Journal that there may be a new front runner for the position of Reserve Team coach at Newcastle.
Willie Donachie – close to being appointed Reserve team manager
58 year-old Scot Willie Donachie is now a leading contender for the vacant Newcastle United reserve team post, and news today that Chris Hughton wants to appoint someone to that position within the week.
Willie is already at the club of course, having been appointed last December as the Assistant Director at Newcastle’s Academy.
Donachie will now join Steve Stone and former Middlesbrough coach Martin Scott as top candidates for the job, which needs to be filled very quickly, and has been open since Newcastle-born Alan Thompson joined Celtic and Neil Lennon last month as first team coach.
Newcastle have apparently had lots of applications for the job, and since Chris wants to bring along a number of last season’s successful Newcastle U18 team into the first team squad, it would appear that Willie’s experience with the youngsters could give him and advantage to be named as Reserve Team manager, which is an important position at the club, as it is in the Reserves that many of the youngsters will be further developed.
Chris Hughton said today:
“It is an important position which is why we made it a priority to have that job filled,”
“The Academy is going to be an important part of the football club in the next few years and whoever takes over this position has got an important job to play.” “We have some excellent young players at the club and we want to give them every chance.”
“At the moment we’re still finalising the appointment and I would expect to have someone in the job very soon. There have been some good candidates for the job, but at this moment we still haven’t decided who it will be.”
Glasgow-born Donachie, who was capped 35 times for Scotland at left-back, played most of his many first class games at Manchester City and Oldham Athletic.
As far as his coaching career goes, Donachie was appointed Joe Royle’s assistant at Everton in 1995 and then left when he was appointed First Team Coach at Sheffield United, but in May 1998 rejoined Royle at Manchester City. Then in May 2001, City sacked Joe Royle, but Donachie stayed on as First Team Coach under new and former Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan.
In November 2001 Willie joined Terry Yorath as his assistant at Sheffield Wednesday, but left in October, 2002 to link up again with Joe Royle, who was at that time manager of Ipswich Town.
Donachie left Portman Road in June 2006 after Jim Magilton was appointed the Ipswich manager, and Donachie joined Millwall as assistant to Nigel Spackman and was then appointed manager of that club in November of 2006, after Spackman was sacked.
And of course last December he joined the Newcastle Academy, so Willie has lots of coaching experience since he stopped playing, and would seem to be an excellent candidate, and would follow the new policy at Newcastle of promoting from within.