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Roker Roundup 20/21

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Roker Roundup: Sunderland trialist set for contract offer after impressing all the right people

It appears that a Sunderland trialist has done enough to earn a deal, with reports claiming he’s set to sign up, whilst a former striker has spoken out against often-criticised ex-manager Lawrie McMenemy.

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Trialist set for contract offer

Northampton Town youngster Tom Scott has been on trial at the Academy of Light for the last couple of weeks as he attempts to impress Lee Johnson’s coaching staff.

It appears he may have done enough to earn a deal, as Football Insider report that the 18-year-old has ‘dazzled’ while on trial and Sunderland are preparing a contract offer for the playmaker.

The midfielder has played twice for the under-23s, scoring in a 3-2 loss to West Bromwich Albion and starting yesterday’s 2-1 win over Reading in Premier League 2. You can see his well-taken goal against WBA below:

Scott is currently on a scholarship deal at Northampton and the report quotes a Sunderland source claiming he ‘will be a first team star of the future’.

He was also nominated for League Football Education’s goal of the month award for March, thanks to a sublime free-kick against Luton Town.

Northampton Town v Colchester United - FA Youth Cup: 1st Round Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

Hodgson on disgraceful omission

Former Sunderland striker David Hodgson appeared on the Keep The High Balls Low Podcast [@keep_balls] to discuss his football career.

Hodgson started for Sunderland in the 1985 League Cup Final defeat to Norwich and revealed how it was his childhood dream to play at Roker Park.

The forward told how it was impossible to play for the club under Lawrie McMenemy, discussed the nonsensical transfer decisions under the former Southampton manager’s reign, and described not being able to get into that side as a disgrace:

It was the worst thing that could’ve happened to a football club and for me personally. It was impossible to play at the club at that time. I convinced Alan Kennedy to sign – a European cup winner, we had George Burley – a Scottish international, European cup winner with Ipswich. They were senior players and we let go of Nick Pickering – an under 21 international, Barry Venison – an under 21 international. Lawrie’s theory was to sign old players and not just them two, he brought others; Eric Gates came in, Dave Swindlehurst but he got rid of the kids. Sunderland Football Club at the time had a lot of experienced players but just with the wrong age and the clubs suffered. We just stayed in the league, we nearly got relegated again. But for me to not get in that side was a joke, it was a disgrace.

Despite those difficult years, Hodgson said playing for Sunderland at Roker Park was a childhood dream come true:

Sunderland have had those years where they have been up and down and at one point they were supposed to be the ‘Bank of England’ club in football terms. But for me to pull on the Sunderland shirt at Roker Park and to go out on that pitch, that was my childhood dream. Even though Middlesbrough become so close to me in my heart, I was going back to where I stood in the terraces. I stood in the Fulwell End and I went to away games. I was a proper Sunderland fan who idolised Sunderland Football club, so to go and play there knowing my mates were on the terraces watching me was like ‘wow, how can this get any better.’

They are proper fans. These are working class people who look forward to the match on the afternoon and going out on the Saturday night and that’s what Sunderland at the time was about.

You can watch the full episode of Keep The High Balls Low podcast with David Hodgson by clicking play on the video below:

David Hodgson Sunderland 1985 Photo by David Cannon/Allsport/Getty Images/Hulton Archive
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