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Fan Letters: ‘Epic news re: Dan Neil and the new deal!’

RR readers are delighted about the news of Dan Neil’s new contract – how reassuring is it that he sees his future at SAFC? Email us:

Photo by Will Matthews/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Epic news re: Dan Neil and the new deal. I was hoping for this news months ago and lo and behold it is here - praise goes to KLD, Speakman et al for making it happen, as under previous regimes he either wouldn’t have got the chance to prove himself or would have simply been sold for buttons.

I see real potential in young Dan and think he could make it as a top flight footballer if his progression continues, he develops more physically and really starts to run games. Goals and assists will come naturally due to the quality he has.

Tom in Sherburn Village

Ed’s Note [Martin]: I agree wholeheartedly, Tom. He’s a great prospect and it’s hugely reassuring that both he and Elliot Embleton see their futures here. He’s got so much potential, but as we’ve seen this season he’s still rough around the edges – which is to be completely expected at his age. If he can get on the ball more he can dominate games, and I too see a future Premier League player – hopefully it’s with us, as our captain!

Sunderland v Charlton Athletic - Sky Bet League 1
Dan Neil’s impressed so much so far this season
Photo by Will Matthews/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Dan Neil signing a new deal is great for us fans but also the young talent coming through who can now look to the likes of DN and Embo and say “I want to be like them one day”.

My 10 year old nephew plays at the SAFC academy and Neil is his favourite player. What a role model this lad is to our future generations of fans and players. Well done Dan, keep it up sonna.

Chris Lawson

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Great point Chris, and it’s something the club needs to really use as a point of difference. The reality is, over the coming seasons, young local lads are going to have a far, far better chance of making it at SAFC than up the road, and we’ve got to show that reality at first-team level. By being a club that has a clear pathway to the first-team, we can attract the best youngsters, and with the likes of Neil and Embleton showing the way it’ll serve us well. When I was a kid playing local football in the late 80s/early 90s, it was Middlesbrough that had that reputation – regardless of who you supported, you wanted to get picked up by Middlesbrough, because of the quality of their academy and the progression that they gave young players. That’s the reputation we now need to carve out for ourselves.

Sunderland v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet League One
Great signs, bright futures!
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Saw the posts about King Charlie. I loved watching him as a young boy shouting “Charlie! Charlie!” whenever he came forward for a corner. Brutish in the air and a very good player technically too, which many people may not know. He could do it all - head, tackle, pass, shoot. I just wish footage existed of him playing as watching him play was a rare treat.

John Hawes

Ed’s Note [Martin]: There are a few clips of him playing, John, but not too many! Check out this YouTube channel – there’s some fantastic stuff on there, including eight videos featuring King Charlie! Click on the video below to start the ‘Charlie Hurley playlist’.


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