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The Draft: Day 6 - We fight it out to make SAFC's best second tier side of the last 25 years

We're battling it out to create the best Sunderland squad we can from players that have played for us in the Championship/First Division in the last 25 years. Today, we announce our 11th and 12th round picks. This is it - the teams are completed!

Kevin Kilbane of Sunderland and Eoin Jess of Nottingham Forest Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images

Round Eleven

Damian: 81 - Anton Rogan

Rogan managed 42 games for Sunderland despite his later career being blighted by hamstring injuries. Injuries allegedly stemming from a couple of broken legs before signing for Celtic - the more you know.

Anyway, The Northern-Irishman was a canny player for the club, and played relatively well back in the ‘92 cup final against Liverpool. Hard-working, tough and unspectacular, Rogan is a decent late-round signing for my Sunderland side.

Fishpaste: 82 - Kevin Kilbane

This was a contentious pick, as many of my fellow-writers questioned whether he did indeed play for Sunderland in the second tier. He did, under Mick McCarthy before a deadline day move to Everton, and although he was generally poorly remembered by fans, there is no question he’d have gone earlier in the draft had people realised he was available.

I’ll be using Kilbane in central midfield. It’s the position he played in the Premier League immediately after leaving us, and he was better suited to it than the left wing.

Alongside Graham Kavanagh, he will provide my central midfield with some legs, energy, physical presence, and experience. Welcome aboard.

Rory: 83 - Phil Babb

Yeah, maybe I'm scraping the barrel here. There were no centre halves left though, so please forgive me.

Anyway, Babb was alright in 2003/04. I'm not going to say he was great but he certainly wasn't bad. Remember his penalty in the shoot out against Palace? Pinged right into the top corner like a natural finisher. So I'd really prefer it if you remembered that when it comes to voting.

Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion
El Capitan!
Photo by Gary M.Prior/Getty Images

Graham: 84 - Matty Piper

Alright, so he was always injured, but a fully fit Matty Piper would of been a bloody good player in the Championship and, well, Carlos Edwards was taken.

The decision to pick the Leicester born winger also meant I could move to Martin Smith into his favoured number ten role behind Marcus Stewart in an attacking 4-5-1.

Gav: 85 - Anthony Stokes

I'll admit, I was struggling with who to select here but completing my all-Irish forward line is former Arsenal and Celtic hitman Anthony Stokes.

Stokes was actually quite decent for a spell under Roy Keane and scored a screamer down at Luton in the game which secured us the title.

Although Stokes will perhaps be remembered more for his exploits in the Glass Spider than on the football pitch, he comes in to the side to offer us a bit of pace and creativity in attack whilst also providing that much needed banter. You can't just have a team of robots, you know.

Henchard: 86 - Brian Atkinson

A canny enough player was Brian. Sort of little and chubby. Featured in the '92 cup run and once scored from the halfway line. Was a decent youth prospect - he was only 21 when he played at Wembley - but his career faded from there and he never really kicked on.

Walshie: 87 - Mark Lynch

Mark Lynch was utter, utter garbage. I can’t think of him being anything other than utter, utter garbage. Wikipedia has told to me that he finished his career at Altrincham in 2012 - confirming that he was utter, utter garbage.

Anyway, he’s going into the most uncomfortable back three the world has ever seen.

Hull City v Sunderland
The only photo of Mark Lynch in our database.
Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Tom: 88 - Paul Thirlwell

A local lad, Washington born Thirlwell was a hard-working midfield player who was by no means brilliant, but definitely gave his all for the badge.

Energetic, determined and a decent eye for a pass, I was pleased that Thirwell featured so much after our relegation back in 2003. Injuries and a fractured skull cut short his time at the club, but he was a mainstay in that first season down in the Championship and compliments my side very nicely.


Round 12 - The Substitutes

Tom: 89 - Chris Brown

Chris Brown was a canny player who didn’t really reach his full potential. A mere 9 goals in 66 appearances, Brown wasn’t particularly prolific. He’s 6’3 and a physical fella though, so if my current line-up are unable to break down the opposition he’d be the man to come on and add a different dimension.

Not magnificent by any means, but a solid addition to the bench. And despite being from Doncaster, Brown is in fact a massive Lads fan - another reason to have him in my squad.

Walshie: 90 - Brian Deane

It’s late in the game Big Kev Kyle has been running on fumes for the past 87 minutes, you need someone to stretch the defence, win the high balls and feed David Connolly some sweet, sweet knock-ons - you need Brian Deane.

For a man 18 stories high, he has the graceful touch of a ballerina despite the turning space of a tank. He was only here for what seemed like a week but helped guide us to the title - coincidence? I think not.

Come join us, Deano, come join us.

Joachim Bjorklund, Michael Gray, Brian Deane
No photos of Deane playing for the Lads, but still a legend in his own right.

Henchard: 91 - David Rush

Had potential and ended up average. Like so many Sunderland prospects. Had a bit of pace and grit and scored the winner at West Ham in the '92 cup run.

Gav: 92 - Darren Carter

How class was Darren Carter in that brief spell he spent on loan at Sunderland? Wasn't he great? I was gutted when he got recalled early back to Birmingham.

I've clearly selected the best substitute.

Graham: 93 - Peter Davenport

Since I went for one up top, I felt a forward as my substitute was my only option. Peter Davenport played a very handy role up top with the more fondly remember John Byrne hitting a very respectable fifteen goals in red and white.

Rory: 94 - Michael Proctor

It doesn't really matter who's on the bench here so I thought I might as well bring in a local lad. Someone who will remind his teammates what it means to play for the club and all those cliches.

Plus, he popped up with a few goals after relegation in 2003 and I'm sure he could do the same, when he comes on as a sub.

Michael Proctor of Sunderland and Mike Whitlow of Bolton Wanderers
Gan on lad!
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Fishpaste: 95 - Colin Cooper

The names above highlight how little quality was left in the pool, so rather than picking some rubbish who played a lot, I’m taking someone pretty decent who played a little.

A Premier League defender in his pomp, he only a tiny part when on loan here, but play he did and he can provide me with the same sort of reliable cover.

Damian: 96 - Jamie Lawrence

Jamie Lawrence played four times for Sunderland, making his professional debut for us after the jump from non-league club Cowes Sports. That's all I could find about him on Wikipedia. And he's just Jamaican. But most importantly, he gets what we're trying to do here. Super sub for no reason other than I said so.