Former Valencia assistant manager, Ian Cathro is set to be appointed the Number Two at St. James’ Park, while Alessandro Schoenmaker will be named as Head of Sports Science.
Ian Cathro, the highly-rated managerial prospect who was linked with the vacancy at Rangers, is set to be announced over the next two days. Whilst at Valencia last year, he assisted in getting the club to finish 4th in their league and Champions League play off qualification.
Schoenmaker is reunited with new Toon head coach Steve McClaren whom he has previously worked with at FC Twente, Wolfsburg, Nottingham Forest and Derby.
Schoenmaker will help to oversee the fitness, strength and conditioning of the squad, alongside fitness coaches Dave Billows and Simon Tweddle.
The nature of the announcement, which was first documented by Sky Sports News this afternoon, will come as a surprise to Newcastle fans.
Indeed, the appointment of Ian Cathro has come out of nowhere and, in my opinion, that is very reassuring on multiple levels. There has been a lot of disgruntlement on twitter emanating from Newcastle over the past few days surrounding the supposed lack of activity going on at the club.
Nevertheless, this unexpected appointment perhaps serves to provide some hope and reassurance to those most sceptical. Newcastle have always liked to do their business discreetly – the signing of Jack Colback and Siem de Jong last year, for example, dropped like a pleasantly surprising bombshell.
Perhaps the radio silence from the club so far this Summer is not so much an indication of lack of activity, but rather hard work going on behind the scenes. One ‘ITK’ source on Twitter even went as far as suggesting THREE new signings will be announced by the club in the next 72 hours:
— ROSS MACK (@rossmacky10) June 25, 2015
I guess all we can do is hope!
Fitness guru Steve Black has also been linked with a role at St James’ Park as the club prepares to embark upon a new era after a dreadful 2014-15 campaign.
Now that a structured backroom staff is starting to emerge, hopefully we can turn our attentions towards incoming players. We’ve been linked with a number of exciting prospects over the past few weeks, but talk is nothing unless acted upon.
Watch this space.