McDonald Joins Leeds United
Gary McAllister has made another addition to his coaching staff, with former Carlisle United boss Neil McDonald joining the club as the new First Team Coach.
McDonald is the second off-field staff appointment this week, with Steve Staunton arriving on Monday to become McAllister’s assistant manager and he brings with him a wealth of football experience from both his playing, and coaching careers.
The 42-year-old started his professional football career at Newcastle United, having previously been on an apprenticeship with Carlisle. He made over 200 appearances for Newcastle and was selected to represent his country as an England Under-21 on a number of occasions.
In 1988 he moved to Everton for the grand fee of £525,000 where he represented the club in the 1989 Cup Final against city-rivals Liverpool. McDonald was on the losing side as Ian Rush’s extra-time goal was enough to seal a 3-2 victory for The Reds. Following spells with Oldham, Bolton and Preston North End, Neil retired in 1998 as a player coach, assuming a full time coaching role with Preston.
McDonald went on to become part of the grand Sam Allardyce backroom staff and was assistant boss to Ian Dowie during his Crystal Palace reign. In 2006 he was appointed manager of Carlisle United, and took the club to their highest league placing in 20 years, only to be sacked that summer with the board of directors claiming that they had “lost confidence” with their manager.
Following the shock sacking, a trip to Sweden was on the cards as Neil saved Östersunds FK from relegation with just 5 games remaining before becoming Peter Jackson’s assistant at Lincoln City. Despite signing a new contract recently with the Imps, McDonald has joined Leeds United on a contract in line with the other managerial appointments, initially until the end of the season.