Based at our Rockliffe Park training ground, a primary part of Neil’s role will see him act as a liaison for Boro’s Academy youngsters who are spending time away from the club, be that on loan or on international duty.

He will also act as an ambassador to the Academy, helping to form relationships with partner clubs within the area and assisting in the recruitment of grassroots players.

Academy Manager Craig Liddle - who played alongside Neil at Boro and Darlington, with both later involved in the coaching set-up at The Quakers - said: “We’re delighted to welcome Neil to the Middlesbrough FC Academy.

“His experiences, both as a former professional and as a coach working with youngsters, will be of huge benefit to our Academy players in important stages of their development.”