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The Draft: SAFC's Second tier shoot-out - An introduction!

Roker Report's annual draft series is back, and this time around our writers will be drafting from a pool of players that have played for Sunderland in the second tier in the last 25 years.

Sunderland v Ipswich Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

The Premise

Imagine you are back in the school yard and a captain as the football teams were being picked. Before you stands every single player to have played for Sunderland AFC in the second tier of English football in the last twenty-five years and you are able to assemble a side that follow you into battle as we ascend upon the Championship.

Each of the writers involved took turns to remove a player from the pool until we each had eleven players and a substitute. Beyond that, it's down to the readers of our site to vote on who selected the best of all the squads to pick from. Voting will open once we've all made our twelve picks.


The Rules

Names were put in a hat to decide the order that our team went in, and the results were as follows:

1. Damian, 2. Fishpaste, 3. Rory, 4. Graham, 5. Gav, 6. Henchard, 7. Walshie, 8. Tom.

For every other round of selections however, that order was reversed.

Participants are able to use their selections however they wish, though the following rules must be followed:

  1. Squads must consist of eleven players and one substitute (12 picks each in all).
  2. Players who can play in multiple positions can be declared for one position in the selection process, but included in the final team in another. For example, Anthony Stokes could be picked as a midfielder, but also chosen to play in attack in the final teams, or Gary Bennett declared as a defensive pick but utilised anywhere you wish to place him, as is standard.
  3. Once a player is selected he is removed from the pool and ineligible to be selected by anyone else.
  4. Players are selected as they turned out for Sunderland AFC.
  5. Players selected must have played in a first-team game for Sunderland in the second tier in any of the following seasons: 92-93, 93-94, 94-95, 95-96, 97-98, 98-99, 03-04, 04-05, 06-07.
  6. Each person must accompany their pick with a summary of the reasons behind it.

How it all works

So, using the order that was drawn out, each contestant selected their players one at a time in the style of an American draft. One by one, each contestant saw their opponents choosing players they had shortlisted, with everyone being as tactical as possible in their selections whilst also attempting to gain the upper hand.

Over the next week we'll be revealing two rounds of selections per day until we have a finale, where each contestant will present their finished squad and their pitch to you as to why you should vote their squad as the best from the eight you have to choose from.

Stay tuned for tomorrow morning as we unveil rounds one and two - which Roker Reporter will prevail above all?