Promotion winning skipper Grant Leadbitter will return to the club this week to take up a new role within our Academy...
Promotion winning skipper Grant Leadbitter will return to the club this week to take up a new role within our Academy.
Midfielder Grant made 230 appearances for Boro between 2012 and 2019 before returning to his boyhood club Sunderland where he saw out his career until announcing retirement in the summer of 2021.
The 36-year-old spent last season gaining his UEFA A Licence and was a regular visitor to the Academy where he worked closely with our age-group coaches at Rockliffe.
He now returns in a formal capacity as our Individual Development Coach.
The role will see Grant working with players across the different age groups where he will offer added coaching and support, and will also work with closely with the coaches within our Academy.
Academy manager Craig Liddle said: “It’s great to have someone with Grant’s experience on board. He’s worked hard on his coaching qualifications over the past year and he brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding.
“He’s an example for the young players in our Academy because of what he achieved in his career and he knows what it takes to be a good professional.”
NEW BOY: Grant Leadbitter
FORMER Sunderland midfielder Grant Leadbitter has ensured a return to the North-East after signing for Middlesbrough.
The 26-year-old has penned a three-year deal at the Riverside Stadium, signing on a free transfer from Ipswich Town, the club he joined from the Black Cats three years ago.
The creative midfielder, who made 116 league appearances and scored 13 goals in his time at the Tractor Boys, has become Middlesbrough's first signing of the summer.
Leadbitter said: "I'm pretty excited. I wanted a fresh challenge and when the opportunity to join Middlesbrough came in, I just couldn't turn it down.
"I just want to play well for Middlesbrough and get the club in the Premier League."
Manager Tony Mowbray said: "I am delighted we have managed to sign a player of Grant's quality, tenacity and competitive edge.
"In my mind, we are signing a player who has matured to have a good understanding of the game. Following the loss of Barry Robson, he will ensure that we will retain the competitive experience that we need in midfield."
I said he would be the ideal person to get in the academy a year ago. He's a leader, he's no nonsense, he knows how to build a career on sheer effort, professionalism and determination.
He isn't going to sugar coat things to a 17 year old prima donna and watch them Porritt their career down the pan. He isn't going to let people Wood themselves into a poor loan, and he isn't going to let kids get in with the wrong crowd.