Paul Hart explains what convinced him to return to Leeds

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Paul Hart has been appointed as Leeds United’s new Head of Academy.

Newly-appointed Leeds United Head of Academy Paul Hart has explained to the club’s official website why he took the job.

Hart will oversee the entire Academy set-up at Thorp Arch as well as take charge of the Whites’ Under-21 side.

The Englishman has revealed how discussions with Leeds executive director Adam Pearson and chairman Massimo Cellino helped him make up his mind to return to the club.

“I’m very fortunate to have worked with Adam Pearson before in his first time at Leeds,” the 62-year-old told Leeds’ official website. “He’s a person I hold in high regard and I trust him implicitly.

“It was clear through the conversations I had with him, and then latterly with Mr Cellino, that the club is destined to get back on the right lines.

“I didn’t need much persuasion but it was good to hear and that convinced me that this is the right place to be.”

Hart, a former Leeds and Nottingham Forest defender, will be supported by Adam Underwood as the Academy Manager.

The former defender, who also played for Sheffield Wednesday, is joined at the Academy by Daral Pugh as Head of Coaching, focusing on the under-9s-16s age groups, John Anderson as Under-18s coach alongside Jason Blunt, and Andy Gray as Under-16s coach.

Hart played for Leeds for five years before going on to take charge of the Academy during the 1990s, leading the youngsters to FA Youth Cup victories in 1993 and 1997.

The Englishman helped develop the likes of Jonathan Woodgate, Paul Robinson, Harry Kewell and Alan Smith.

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