Dear Roker Report,
It seems it would be smart for Sunderland to target the best young talent from the lower leagues, Ireland, and Scotland.
Do you think we will look at players like Kieran Sadlier or Sean McLoughlin from Cork City, Jayden Stockley or Mohamed Eisa?
Also, after signing Jordan Hunter, will there be an emphasis on targeting U23 talent? Without big outlays targeting young, British talent seems the obvious way forward.
Ed’s Note [JN]: It’s clear the development of the academy will now be crucial in rebuilding the club; Donald, Methven and Ross have all applauded the work done there and vigorously stated their want to create a genuine pathway to the first-team.
Of course the benefits of this are two-fold; the pride of seeing local lads represented on the pitch, and crucially, financial benefit. The need to develop, and either bring success or sell-on could fund everything else. When they all mentioned the “Dortmund Model”, this is precisely what lines they wanted to work along.
Even bringing in youth players from other sides is cost-effective; Joel Asoro and Josh Maja were both brought into the academy relatively recently and did not spend their whole youth careers in Sunderland; Jordan Hunter will be the same - he is definitely one for the future.
Of the four players mentioned to sign, it’s hard to pin point exactly where interest lies and who is scouted, but they are all the type of player the cub are looking at.
Dear Roker Report,
I’m now becoming annoyed by the days about the negativity of some fans.
Let’s just remember what we’ve been through. We must believe and unite behind the new regime. Rome wasn’t built in a day - Sunderland was.
I’m almost 56. I’ve supported the club since I was a boy - please, please be patient.
I’m sure they’ll get it right and yes, my son and I have committed to the forthcoming season with season cards at the Stadium of Light!
Ed’s Note [JN]: Hear hear!
I agree, and have likewise already booked my first three pre-season games and renewed my season card. Let’s enjoy some positivity for as long as we can.
Dear Roker Report,
Yet again player power rules - who do they think they are?
This is what riles me about players today - Ndong and Djilobodji should be sacked on the spot. I work and if I refuse to I’m history - how can players get away with this time and again?
The time has come for the governing body to review the rules regarding agents and players and their power to hold clubs to ransom. At the end of the day it is we, the fans, who pay their wages.
Sunderland have the right idea and vision about bringing the club back to us the fans - take note the governing bodies, football needs change now.
Ed’s Note [JN]: Agreed. Technically the club still hold all the cards; they’re under contract and are now in fact under breach of said contract. They’re pursuing an internal investigation of disciplinary proceedings towards both players. But I think we’ll see the back of these pretty soon anyway, especially Ndong.
These two are essentially a microcosm of how we have failed over the years. Spending £20m on transfer fees alone. They cost a bomb, performed generally poorly and quite frankly couldn’t care less about the club. In the future we may be able to spend high once again if we do develop our academy and get back into the Premier League ASAP, but hopefully the days of signing players who see Sunderland as merely a stepping stone are gone.
One benefit of League One is this club will be probably the biggest any potential signing has ever played for in their career. The new lads are desperate to play for Sunderland, and desperate to succeed. With the World Cup on right now, we can all see the benefits of having a team chocked full of great characters with an insatiable need to succeed - not for a hungering need for £££.