Ex-Middlesbrough midfielder makes SHOCK coaching switch

Former Middlesbrough favourite Dean Whitehead has made a SHOCK coaching switch – swapping a Championship job for League One.

Tuesday, 19th November 2019, 1:41 pm
MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND - MAY 15: Alex Pritchard of Brentford is challenged by Dean Whitehead of Middlesbrough during the Sky Bet Championship Playoff semi final second leg match between Middlesbrough and Brentford at the Riverside Stadium on May 15, 2015 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Whitehead, a cult hero on Teesside, has been confirmed in a new first-team coaching position at Sunderland’s third tier rivals Shrewsbury, as he leaves behind his under-19 boss role at Huddersfield Town.

The 37-year-old, who also played for Stoke City, Sunderland, Oxford United and the Terriers before hanging up his boots in 2018, will work under newly-appointed Shrews manager Sam Ricketts. He replaces Joe Parkinson, who last week departed to become new Hartlepool United assistant manager.

Commenting on Whitehead’s exit, Huddersfield chairman Phil Hodgkinson admitted the club are disappointed to lose “a valuable member of staff” but confirmed the club did get compensation for the departure.

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He said: “We are all disappointed to see Dean leave the club, but he had ambitions to coach in first-team football and this was a good opportunity for him.

“We saw Dean as a valuable member of staff, so we worked hard to get suitable compensation for him.

“We have a lot of good memories with Dean as a player and coach and wish him all the best for the future.”

Abingdon-born Whitehead established himself as a bit of a cult hero in his two years at the Riverside. Signed by Tony Mowbray, Whitehead went on to play more than 50 games for Boro, including the 2015 Championship play-off final at Wembley.