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The Roker Roundup: Monday 15th February 2016

Here's what's shaping your SAFC world, tonight - it's the Roker Roundup!

The biggest news to come out of the club today was that season card prices for next season have dropped, with the average adult paying just £350 for the whole of the 2016/2017 period.

The press release from the club read:

Sunderland AFC has announced price reductions throughout the Stadium of Light on season cards for the 2016-17 season.

Already offering fans exceptional value for money, a Sunderland season card will now be one of the cheapest in football.

Next season, adult season cards are priced from only £350 (£18 per game) and supporters over the age of 65 can enjoy a special price of £250 for their seat for the new campaign.

As the club continues to encourage the next generation of supporters, young adults under the age of 22 will pay just £170 for the whole season, and the stadium’s popular Family Zone offers a fantastic value-for-money adult and junior (aged under 16) package for £375.

Honouring a long-term commitment to providing fans with an affordable pricing structure, Sunderland’s season cards are significantly cheaper today than they were over a decade ago. In the 2003-04 season an under-16 season card at the Stadium of Light was £133; next season the same season card will cost just £50 - a reduction of over 60% - and highlights how the club’s ticket prices have been consistently reduced over the last decade.

Chief executive Margaret Byrne said: "Keeping the cost of watching football at a realistic level is something that is very topical at present, but for us it has always been top of our agenda. With the reductions we have implemented a family of three, for example one adult and two under 16 year olds, can enjoy a full season of football for only £400.

"We know that the fans are what make this football club great and we hope that as many fans as possible will continue to have the opportunity to come to games and support the team."

The season card renewal process will commence from Monday 7 March and supporters have until 5pm on Wednesday 6 April to complete their seat renewal. New season cards can also be bought during this period.  Renewal packs for existing season card holders will follow within the coming weeks.

jn

It's good thinking by the club, really. Should the worst happen and we're relegated the tickets will be cheaper and you'll see more football, albeit of worse quality. If we stay up, it's cheaper Premier League football. Win-win.

Former Sunderland manager Roy Keane has radically suggested that kids need to become kids again.

Up until the last ten years or so you could find kids in any public park doing a wide range of things, such as playing football or climbing trees. These days, you're more likely to see white dog shit than you are children playing out and the Republic of Ireland assistant manager insists that kids need to be out enjoying themselves more.

He said:

If you’re not enjoying it there’s something drastically wrong. And if you want to become good at any sport... soccer, hurling, basketball, boxing, unless you really love something it’s hard to become really good at it, so enjoy it.

Throw them (mobile phones) in the bin, throw them in the bin. Play football, practice.

Kick the ball against the wall, play with your mates. Kids don’t climb trees anymore. So that’s my advice to you, enjoy football and climb trees.

Elsewhere, Sam Allardyce has given an update on Sunderland's injury situation.

Though it was feared that Jermain Defoe was hurt in Saturday's win over Manchester United, Sam has insisted that Defoe will be fine.

Big Sam told the South Shields Gazette:

Lens has just had a hernia op. There’s Kaboul, Watmore and obviously Kirchhoff, who came off injured. Two weeks gives us a great opportunity to get people fit. Seb Larsson is making his way back.

He’ll (Defoe) be alright because we protected him by making sure we brought him off. Fatigue kicks in in the last 10 or 15 minutes and if you’ve had a fitness test on a hamstring, the last thing we wanted was him pulling up and being out for three or four weeks.

Lamine Kone has taken to life in the Premier League like a duck to water, something his manager is absolutely delighted with.

I’d watched Kone myself on the astro turf at Lorient. If you can handle astro turf at that size then you’ll do alright on grass!

John and Lamine have struck up a good partnership already. John will sweep around and cover, Lamine will head anything.

He intimidates centre-forwards because of that dominance in the air. The pair have done a fantastic job in playing together so quickly, and understanding each other.