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Fan Letters: “Why can’t I watch my team?” asks Sunderland Ladies fan

Alec would like to see more of Neil and Diamond in Phil Parkinson’s side, and Jess simply wants to see Mel Reay’s side play. Let us know what you think -!

Sunderland AFC Ladies deserve more support from the club.

Dear Roker Report,

Hope everyone is keeping safe and well,

I would just like your thoughts on Dan Neil & Jack Diamond not being involved in any of our 3rd division games this season, it seems to me that Parkinson does not know talent when he sees it, we are so slow in the middle of the park it’s unbelievable, surely these two ought to be given a chance.

Alec Finn

Ed’s Note [Rich]: Hi Alec, we’re all good thanks and I hope you’re keeping well too. I think everyone has been impressed by the flashes of quality that Jack Diamond and Dan Neil have shown in pre-season and the minutes they’ve featured in the cup matches so far this season. We are struggling for goals, and Neil in particular seems to bring the ability to thread balls into feet that has the potential to bring a new dimension to our forward play.

We know that Parkinson likes experienced players, and we do have trusted first team regulars in their positions who would probably walk into any other League 1 side. He has said that we will need to use the whole squad to cope with the volume of games this season, and that he wants to integrate the U23s as a reserve team. It’s still early doors and injuries and suspensions will certainly come into play soon enough.

Perhaps the quick turn around between the upcoming games against Swindon and Crewe will create the opportunity for one or both of Neil and Diamond to be brought into the side. If we don’t play them, they’ll surely be looking for first team football elsewhere.

Sunderland v Aston Villa U21: EFL Trophy
Sunderland starlet Dan Neil has reportedly attracted interest from a number of Premier League clubs
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Just listening to the latest pod and I’d like to echo what Ant had to say... Why can’t we watch SAFC Ladies play?

I’ve been with my mam to watch NUFC & Boro play this season just because I want to watch women’s football.

Why can’t I watch my team? Any ideas?

Jess Davies

Ed’s Note [Rich]: Thanks for writing in Jess. I think your letter is really important - it shows the risk that the club is taking in continuing to neglect fans of the Ladies team.

I know you and your mam are not alone as Sunderland Ladies fans who have been forced to look elsewhere for their football during the coronavirus crisis. Others are left watching the club and opposition twitter commentary to get a mental picture of what’s actually happening as Sunderland play.

You’ve seen in person - at Newcastle and Middlesbrough - that with the will and a little investment it would be perfectly possible for the club to make arrangements for fans to safely attend the Ladies games. If it’s not possible at Eppleton, there are plenty of other non-league teams in the city who have been welcoming fans for week who would surely welcome a few more quid at the minute. And at the very least, we need a live stream and video highlights of the games.

Women’s football has massive potential growth, and with our history and the infrastructure we should be in the WSL. At the minute, however, the club need to do more show to the players and the fans that they truly value them as part and parcel of Sunderland AFC.

This is about more than money, it’s about the long term future health of the club and the fanbase. I’m sorry to say that, since shortly before Donald and Madrox took over, there has been a general disinterest in the Lasses. Let’s hope that changes soon.

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