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Alan's insight

16 May 2016

New assistant manager Alan Knill arrives at Bramall Lane with an insight into the Blades.

The former Rotherham United and Scunthorpe United defender was unveiled at S2 last week as Chris Wilder was named Blades boss.

Knill, who has one Welsh cap to his name, is a resident of the steel city and is familiar with United.

"I've been in the area a long time and when Sheffield United come calling it is difficult to turn down, especially with Chris' history with the club," said Knill.

"It definitely helps to already have an insight into the club, insider knowledge if you like, I understand what people want, including the passion they want to see in the players who wear the shirt. It will be a big job to get this juggernaut rolling but that doesn't faze us."

Knill, who was with Wilder as Northampton claimed the Sky Bet League Two title last season, is also aware of United's success at U18s and U21s level, another bonus as they begin to mould a team for a crack at promotion in 2016-17.

"We need a strong U18s and U21s, especially with the loan rules changing," added Knill. "The club have produced some unbelievable players, historically, and everyone wants homegrown players in the team if possible.

"Our philosophy is if you have an Academy then use it. We're already aware of a few of the lads, we had Dominic Calvert-Lewin at Northampton last season and he has a great attitude - hopefully the remainder are like that.

"The intention is to integrate the Academy with the first team squad."

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