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NEWS: Sunderland’s scouting network expansion is underway as our new Nordic scout is revealed

The promised expansion of Sunderland’s scouting network has apparently started, with former Aston Villa scout Janne Wilkman leaving his role as manager of Mikkelin Palloilijat to become the club’s nordic scout.

Sunderland chairman Stewart Donald revealed last month that he was going to invest £500,000 into the club’s scouting department.

Not much was made of it, but in my last fans talk-in I said we were going to invest half a million pounds on new scouts - going into Scandanavia, Germany, Ireland and the UK.

That department had been scaled back when had taken over, as the club looked to cut costs and rebuild but that rebuild is definitely under way now with a full-time scout being appointed according to reports in Finland.

According to Lansi-Savo, Janne Wilkman has been appointed the club’s Nordic scout and will be responsible for scouting on behalf of the club.

Wilkman had previously been a full-time scout for Aston Villa and recently left his managerial role at Finnish side Mikkelin Palloilijat (MP) to take up his role with Sunderland.

The club’s chairman Olli Heinikainen congratulated Wilkman on his ‘wonderful opportunity’ and said that they simply could not stand in his way after all he had done for the club - with Wilkman winning the regional coach of the year just last week:

At the same time, we have to thank Janne for the selfless work done for the whole club without saving hours.

This was known to happen sooner or later. Janne played a crucial role in the club’s first milestone, so there is no way we in the club can stop him from moving forward in his career.

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