Who has put together the best SAFC 5-a-side team?
This poll is closed
GOALKEEPER: Tommy Sorensen (90s)
DEFENDER: Dave Watson (70s)
MIDFIELDER: Steed Malbranque (00s)
MIDFIELDER: Stephané Sessegnon (10s)
STRIKER: Marco Gabbiadini (80s)
My team has everything.
The best goalkeeper I’ve seen play for Sunderland is Tommy Sorensen - he was big, agile, good with the ball at his feet, commanding, a leader and fiercely competitive. I’d be happy that he’d not only fill the 5-a-side goal, but could do a good job in playing the ball out from the back! In front of him is Dave Watson, a fearless defender who of course played a huge part in our success back in 1973, and who went on to play 65 times for England.
In front of our defence is the flair of Steed Malbranque and Stephané Sessegnon, arguably the two most technically-gifted players we’ve ever seen at Sunderland. Both of them were capable of leaving defenders for dead and in a game of fives you’d absolutely hate to try and play against the pair of them, on a tight pitch where quick thinking is a must.
Up top I’ve gone for Marco Gabbiadini, who could do everything. He was great in the air, he was as strong as an ox, he was lightening quick and, above all else, he was a clinical goalscorer.
What a team! Who would want to take that lot on?
GOALKEEPER: Tony Norman (80s)
DEFENDER: Lamine Kone (10s)
MIDFIELDER: Bobby Kerr (70s)
ATTACKING MIDFIELDER: Kieron Brady (90s)
STRIKER: Kevin Phillips (00s)
My five-a-side team is built to win.
It includes our most prolific striker of modern times in Super Kevin Phillips - a man with a killer instinct who could score almost any kind of goal imaginable - up front, and the most skilful player to grace the Roker Park turf in the early 1990s, Kieron Brady, providing him with service and bamboozling the opposition with his tricks and flicks.
Behind them I’ve chosen a strong, athletic defender in Lamine Kone, who could also pop up with vital goals at vital moments - most memorably the brace he bagged against Everton at home in 2016. His ability to cover space, combined with the leadership, drive and guile in the middle of an FA Cup winning captain and club legend like The Little General, Bobby Kerr, will keep most sides pretty quiet.
Distribution from the keeper is vital in this format of the game, so in goal I’ve chosen my boyhood hero, Welsh international Tony Norman, who, if I remember rightly, was also considered a pretty accomplished outfield 5-a-side player in training too.
GOALKEEPER: Jimmy Montgomery (70s)
DEFENDER: Kevin Ball (90s)
MIDFIELDER: Julio Arca (00s)
MIDFIELDER: Aiden McGeady (10s)
STRIKER: Gary Rowell (80s)
Here we, here we, here we go! Whilst Gav and Rich had pinched my two top choices of Kevin Phillips and Stephane Sessegnon, my team shows there was still plenty of talent left from Sunderland’s history to choose from.
The man in goal needs no introduction. Sunderland’s top appearance maker, FA Cup winner, THAT double save and these days a reliable pair of hands for the half-time lottery draw at the Stadium of Light - Jimmy Montgomery.
At the back we’ve got a right hard b*stard in Kevin Ball. He may lack the height to be considered a true centre-half, but this is five-a-side and as long as he can still make those shot-tackles from the half-way line he’s the man to keep the goals out in my fives team.
The midfield is filled with wingers, but apart from the fact they both take a good free kick, the hard work of Julio Arca contrasts well with the trickery and quick feet of Aiden McGeady - skills which make him, along with Sessegnon, the best fit for five-a-side in Sunderland’s recent history.
Up front, we have another true red and white legend. Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed a team of Gary Rowell’s, and although his hat trick against that lot up the road was in the 70s, he gets in as my pick from the 1980s - he was after all named ALS’s player of that decade.
Bring it on!