The most sensible signing Leeds will make this summer

Brian McDermott has brought former Leeds goalkeeper Neil Sullivan onto his coaching staff at Elland Road.

Sullivan links up with the club he played for from 2004-2007 and it’s a superb move by McDermott and one which creates plenty of positives for the club, besides improving the basic quality of the current shot stoppers at the club.

Sullivan has a wealth of playing experience with various clubs and he goes into a coaching role fresh off the back of playing.

That ensures that he has a contemporary idea of the sort of standards expected in the football league, despite the fact he spent a good chunk of last season on loan with AFC Wimbledon.

From a goalkeeping point of view, Sullivan can help the group of ‘keepers at Leeds dramatically.

He knows all the tricks in the book when it comes to being a goalkeeper and he was always well know for having a solid technique, something which will help him iron out deficiencies in the club’s younger players.

If Sullivan spots a problem in a player’s technique, he has the experience to know how to deal with it quickly and get that player back to the level of having a model technique.

His experience is something that will also benefit other players at the club, not just the goalkeepers. He is a very approachable person who has gone through a long career, experiencing highs and lows, encountering various problems that the game has to offer.

That will take a little bit of pressure away from McDermott because it simply means another approachable member of staff that a younger, or older, player can talk to if they have a problem.

It’s also a sensible appointment because Sullivan was at the club through the early years of the financial implosion.

He’s well placed to be able to judge where the club is at compared to when he played at Elland Road and how difficult it may be to try and get back into the Premier League.

He may only have spent a few years at the club but he knows the identity of this modern Leeds side, which is a lot more valuable than if McDermott had plucked a coach from somewhere else who had never had any association with Leeds.

He may have only been appointed goalkeeping coach of the academy side but there are several benefits for McDermott and Leeds, which will grow off of that.

How much of an impact can Sullivan have?

image: © Chris Robertshaw

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