Gateshead have announced that Antony Sweeney has sealed a full-time return to League One outfit Hartlepool United as the new youth lead phase coach in the academy.
Sweeney, who played 444 games for Pools between 2001 and 2014 after coming through the academy system himself, will now return to help nurture the potential stars of the future.
The Teessider only arrived at the International Stadium in May, having spent the previous two years with Carlisle United.
However, he has been restricted to just one appearances for the Tynesiders, coming off the bench against Forest Green Rovers.
Gateshead agreed to mutually cancel his playing contract with them to allow him to take up the new role, with the midfielder officially retiring from professional football.
The 33-year-old began his new job at The Northern Gas and Power Stadium on Thursday morning, in which he will have responsibility for the development of the club’s under-12 through to under-16 players.
“I’m really looking forward to this new role, it’s exciting,” said Sweeney.
“It’s not something I was really expecting to be honest, having signed for Gateshead in the summer but in football timing is everything and something has cropped up here which is just too good to turn down.
“I think when you talk to young players it can help to have the experience of having sat where they are now so hopefully I can bring that to the role and continue the good work that has been done at the club over a number of years”.