Sunderland coach Elliot Dickman looks around the stadium before the Checkertrade Trophy match between Doncaster Rovers and Sunderland U21 at Keepmoat Stadium on October 3, 2017 in… (Ian Horrocks/)

Sunderland have confirmed the departure of U-23 head coach Elliott Dickman, who has joined rival side Newcastle United.

In a statement released on the club’s official website, the Black Cats announced that the coach, who spent 26 years at the club mentoring in the academy, has left to join their Tyneside rivals.

Dickman headed up Sunderland’s development side whilst also played a key role over the years in aiding talents in the academy to reach their full potential.

The likes of Jordan Pickford, John Egan and Josh Maja all came through the Academy of Light during Dickman’s time at Sunderland, and the youth coach will hope for similar success at Newcastle.

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With Newcastle now having the finances to attract the best in the business, it makes sense why the Magpies have poached Dickman from Sunderland given his success with the club at youth level.

The Balck Cats have a proud history of developing academy players. And Dickman could well be a success at Newcastle following 26 years at Sunderland.

Sunderland fans react to Dickman joining Newcastle

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Indeed, such a long spell at the club was always going to garner an emotional reaction from Sunderland supporters, who have been sending their tanks to Dickman on social media.

Here’s what some Sunderland fans had to say on Twitter about Dickman officially joining Newcastle…

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