Hastings-born Ball leads Sunderland

Kevin Ball, Sunderland caretaker manager
Kevin Ball, Sunderland caretaker manager

Hastings-born Kevin Ball was placed in temporary charge of Premier League strugglers Sunderland following the sacking of Paolo di Canio.

Ball, now 48, first played senior football with Hastings Rangers while still at William Parker School in 1978/79.

The defender turned midfielder went on to make more than 100 appearances for Portsmouth from 1982-1990 before playing 389 games for Sunderland in all competitions during the 90s, scoring 27 goals.

Ball previously acted as Sunderland caretaker manager for the last 10 games of the 2005/06 season following the sacking of Mick McCarthy. He then returned to his former post of assistant academy manager before being promoted to senior professional development coach in July 2012.

Ball led training on Monday ahead of the Capital One Cup third round tie against Peterborough United tonight (Tuesday) and is ready for his second stint.

“I enjoyed it last time and I hope I feel the same way about this one as well,” he said. “It is sometimes a natural progression to be able to do all of those things, so I was quite comfortable with it.

“The immediate priority on Monday was just to really meet the players, talk to the players, take them out, have a session with them. Because of the events of the last day or whatever, there’s not a great deal of stuff you could have put into their minds ready for Tuesday night.”