Former Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper has returned to the club as part of Steve Bruce’s backroom team.
Harper, acknowledged by the Magpies as their “all-time longest-serving player” having spent 20 years at St James’ Park from 1993 to 2013, is set to stay on as Northern Ireland goalkeeping coach for the time being.
It was Bruce who tempted the Newcastle stalwart away when he signed him for Hull, where Harper’s new coaching colleagues Stephen Clemence and Steve Agnew were part of the set-up.
With Simon Smith already employed as head of goalkeeping, Harper’s role as first-team coach will involve linking the senior and academy set-ups.
Harper, who has worked with the youth sides on a part-time basis in the past, told NUFC TV: “I’m looking forward to it. The manager said to me he’d like me to come in with a role around the first team, but more than just that.
“I’ll officially be a first-team coach, but with a conduit for keeping an eye on, and almost as a link to, the under-23s, who I worked with last season, and the academy where I’ve worked in various capacities over the last three years. So it made sense, and I’m looking forward to getting started.”
Bruce added: “He’s somebody who I had the pleasure of managing, he went on to do his coaching badges, and he’s one of that ‘young brigade’ who can do a little bit of coaching but, just as importantly, will give us a stronger bridge in between the first team and the academy.”
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