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Keeper-Coach Walker's Appointment Confirmed
Tuesday, 6th Nov 2018 10:36

Goalkeeping-coach Jimmy Walker's move from Sunderland to the Blues, which TWTD revealed earlier this morning, has been confirmed by the two clubs.

Walker, who is based in Stamford, Lincolnshire, says he's making the switch in order to be closer to his family.

“It was a very difficult decision for me, as I have loved every minute at Sunderland and it’s a fantastic club,” he told the Black Cats official site.

“Being away from my family in recent months has been challenging so I would like to thank everyone at the club, especially the manager and staff, for their understanding. I wish the club and the fans every success for the rest of the season.”

Sunderland boss Jack Ross added: “We are sad to see Jimmy go but understand his reasons. He leaves with our very best wishes for the future.”

The 45-year-old began his coaching career with Peterborough in 2013 before moving on to Gillingham and then Lincoln during their 2016/17 Vanarama National League championship campaign, in which they beat the Blues in the FA Cup, before joining Ross's Stadium of Light coaching staff in the summer.

Walker is understood to be starting work with the Blues today, having played under manager Paul Lambert during a spell on loan at Colchester in 2008/09.

In addition to his stint with the U's, the Sutton-in-Ashfield-born keeper was with Notts County, Walsall (twice), West Ham, Tottenham, Posh and the Imps during his playing career.

Long-serving Town keeper-coach Malcolm Webster retired at the end of last season with head of academy goalkeeping Darren Smith, who had spent time working with the first team under Webster, given the role on what was effectively a trial basis by former boss Paul Hurst.

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PositivelyPortman added 10:51 - Nov 6
Let’s hope he’s joining us for sound footballing reasons and not just for being closer to his family.

BlueArrow added 10:53 - Nov 6
Welcome Jimmy. Up the Towen.

runningout added 11:11 - Nov 6
Good move for him and us

thundercat600 added 11:13 - Nov 6
Lambert is certainly putting in the effort to get Town going upwards, I have this gut feeling that he will succeed in doing so

SWGF added 11:14 - Nov 6
If he can help a goalie set a wall for a freekick, he'll already be doing better than the last coach

PJH added 11:28 - Nov 6
Anything or anyone that gets Bart playing close to his best again has got to be good so hopefully Jimmy Walker is what sparks it.
It would appear that Bart has hugely missed Malcolm Webster's coaching.

herfie added 11:49 - Nov 6
Warm welcome, Jimmy. You’re joining a great club that’s suffering a bit at the moment. But, under Paul Lambert and his coaching team, there’s real hope that recovery’s now under way. You’re now part of that, and can bring your knowledge and experience for the benefit of all of our keepers - starting with getting some confidence and belief back. COYB!

big_gaz67 added 13:01 - Nov 6
It's a pity that we didn't get Sunderland's manager in the summer! I never believed ME saying PH was his first choice and I still don't. However, this is excellent news. Malcolm Webster produced, in both his spells with the club, a series of good to excellent shot stoppers but also a series of keepers unable to command there box and catch a cross (Gherkin's inability to catch a cross along with Chambo's inability to play right back cost us automatic promotion in the play off season). Bart being even better last season would be a great base to our recovery.

Europablue added 13:49 - Nov 6
Big gaz 67, Paul Hurst was the first choice of the majority of fans. It's easy to know he wasn't right for us afterwards, but to be far to ME it was a decent appointment at the time. Paul Lambert is a better choice, but I can't imagine Town fans being ok with him in the Summer. Now we are in trouble we have accepted Lambert, and aren't that bothered by his Norwich connections

IP33 added 14:02 - Nov 6
Awesome news. Nailed on Play-Off place now. Bart has had a poor season, hopefully things will take a turn for the better.

Dissboyitfc added 14:12 - Nov 6
Welcome to ITFC Jimmy

JewellintheTown added 14:20 - Nov 6
I'm a big fan of his brother, Johnnies, work.
Welcome aboard, Jimmy.

Northstandveteran added 14:22 - Nov 6
Absolutely spot on Europablue.

Bert added 14:46 - Nov 6
That's heartening as it is clear that Bart has not started well this year. Every keeper has a dip in form but I do believe that in Bart and Gerks we have a couple of decent keepers at this level.
Not sure I agree that the majority of town supporters wanted Paul Hurst as our first choice. He may have been on TWTD because he fitted the young, hungry etc model but I was not expecting someone who did not have at least championship experience or wise leadership credentials at a time when the club was in difficult circumstances. We should remember that those of us on TWTD only represent a small slice of vocal opinion. I supported Hurst until it became blindingly obvious that he was not suited to the role as I did with MM. It is certainly true that before the season commenced Lambert would not have been on anyone's lips but right now it makes complete sense and I applaud Evans for being decisive and not waiting until the new year.

PortmanTerrorist added 14:58 - Nov 6
To have such a good Championship keeper in Gerks and (potentially) such a good Premier League keeper in Bart making so many mistakes this season cannot be coincidental with with loss of Malcolm Webster. Seems like even good keepers need regular coaching and this guy has the credentials......just as well as we have to stop shipping soft goals.

Welcome Jimmy and COYBs

cat added 17:40 - Nov 6
Great to see lamberts getting the foundations sorted and getting the back room team in place. Barts struggled this season and when you lose your confidence as a keeper there’s simply no hiding place. From my reckoning he has cost us 8 goals this season and this has ultimately cost us points and a cup place. Yes he’s a great shot stopper, as most pro keepers are, but it’s his organisation & distribution which appears to be his Achilles heel, specially in this modern era of the sweeper keeper in possession based football. I had a great view of the goal conceded on Saturday and remarked at the time there was a huge gap on the left hand side of the wall. What ever the problem is needs to be addressed, sorted and quickly, let’s hope Walker will reinstall that confidence in him cause this will be vital if we want to avold the dreaded.

ronnyd added 19:00 - Nov 6
Welcome aboard Jimmy. If you,re commuting from Stamford every day best of luck with the A14 traffic mate.

Warkys_Tash added 23:04 - Nov 6
Europablue, fair point re Lambert. It is unlikely he would have been so welcomed by a quite a few sections of the fans, hot on the heals of McCarthys tenure. Most wanted an up and coming manager.

But in reality, who had actually heard of Hurst? Lets be honest, I would say 90% of Town fans had no idea who he was.. myself included.

Really can anyone name more than 3 league managers off the top of their head right now?

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 08:54 - Nov 7
Don't worry, Jimmy. You're coming to another "amazing football club with proper people." (It's just that some of them have been lying low for a while.) Quite a coup to have pinched you from Sunderland, I would say.

busterjames1 added 15:22 - Nov 7
Awesome keeper before he retired !! Should get Bart up to speed and teach Wrighty a thing or two !

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