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Dick Advocaat will not return to Sunderland next season

Britain Soccer Premier League

Sunderland’s head coach Dick Advocaat awaits the start of their English Premier League soccer match between Sunderland and Leicester City at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland, England, Saturday, May 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)


Dick Advocaat has told Sunderland A.F.C. that he will not return as manager next season.

The Dutchman was appointed boss at the Stadium of Light in March and managed Sunderland’s final nine games of the season, leading the Black Cats to a 16th place finish and guaranteeing Premier League football next season.

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With Advocaat only under contract until the end of the season, many weren’t sure if he would come back for a full campaign. However, when the man known as “The Little General” was seen in tears of joy after Sunderland clinched safety, it seemed as if his heart was in Tyne and Wear.

Today, Advocaat stated that he is officially finished with his managerial career, saying it was “Sunderland or nobody.”

At certain moments in your life you have to make a decision and I am almost 68 years old now. A number of clubs contacted me but the decision was always Sunderland or nobody.

I would like to thank the chairman, Lee, the staff and of course the fans. We gave everything in our time there and achieved what we set out to. Sunderland has been one of the highlights of my career.”

Sunderland chairman Ellis Short said he was disappointed with the decision, but praised Advocaat’s work during his short time at the club.

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At 68 years of age, Advocaat has enjoyed an illustrious managerial career that started way back in 1984 when he became an assistant manager of the Dutch national team. He would win trophies in charge at PSV Eindhoven in the Eredivisie, Rangers in the Scottish Premier League and Zenit St. Petersburg in the Russian Premier League. He also coached the national teams of the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Belgium, Russia and Serbia.