Dear Roker Report,
It’s been two years and one month since I last wrote to you.
To begin with, this is Adarsh, a Sunderland supporter from India ever since the Roy Keane days.
What a fantastic time this finally is, supporting this beautiful club!
Everything about the club is looking positive now: a young and ambitious owner, a recruiting team with a philosophy, a manager with belief in the team and wonderful group of young players who are playing for the shirt.
I don’t know whether you can imagine how I felt watching the team on a phone from a local bar in Bangalore holding beer.
I was in my world own seeing the team doing their best against a top team, and people around would’ve had no clue why I screamed and was ecstatic when Jack Clarke scored.
Sunderland give me joy, sorrow, and heartbreak, but it’s all part of supporting this wonderful club.
Sunderland ‘till I die!
Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Adarsh, and thank you for your letter!
Saturday’s performance against Fulham was one that we can all be extremely proud of. The players shone against a very good team, and a replay was the least we deserved.
I completely agree with your comments on how positive things are currently looking for Sunderland, too. There’s real optimism for the future, the players are playing with real pride and passion and they’ve got so much more to give, which is very exciting!
It’s wonderful to hear from Lads fans from all around the world and even better when the team can bring some positivity and joy, no matter where our supporters are located.
Dear Roker Report,
I was just wondering what’s happened to the articles on Sunderland Women?
As excited as I am about the Lads’ progress, our ladies are currently in decent run of form.
I’ll hold my hands up and admit that I’ve only been to a handful of games over the years, but I managed to catch most of the 3-1 win at Birmingham on FA Player and was massively impressed, because the quality of football and standard of goals were excellent.
Young Scarr looks on fire and Abby Holmes? Joe Bolton, eat your heart out- what a defender!
It was also mentioned elsewhere that a lot of our County Durham-based fans will have split loyalties, so it might be good to see articles about Durham Ladies as well.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: Hi, Dave. We’ve seen a natural scaling-back of our coverage on the women’s team recently as unfortunately, we don’t have enough SAFC Women fans in our pool of volunteers who have the spare time to write.
The small team we have still do their weekly Twitter space podcast and will write whenever they get the time to do it.
Thanks for getting in touch, and hopefully some new volunteers will raise their hand soon so we can provide better coverage.
Dear Roker Report,
I’m intrigued when I see statements from new arrivals speaking about how our chairman has excited them with his ‘vision’ of the club going forward.
It may just be me, but I would love the chairman and some of his cohorts to let us the fans know exactly what this vision is. It seems that we’re becoming the masters of soundbites, with nothing substantial actually being said.
Are we developing youngsters with a vision of selling them on (thus making us tread water at best), or are we hoping to get these kids in, develop them and keep them at the club? For example, there’s no clarity being offered on the Chris Rigg situation.
I know some will point to long-term contracts being signed by new players coming in but as we all know, contracts are pretty meaningless when money is mentioned.
What’s the vision and what’s the hope? What is the model we’re supposed to be either creating or following?
I just feel increasingly frustrated by the lack of information, or am I missing something that’s been put out there?
Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Pip. Thanks for getting in touch.
It’s an interesting debate, without a doubt, not least because we haven’t invested so heavily in youth in all the years I’ve been supporting the club. It’s definitely a new way of operating, and with that comes a degree of uncertainty.
I think the long-term aim is to establish Sunderland in the Premier League and to operate in a similar way to a club such as Brighton.
Of course that won’t be a straightforward process, but the vision seems to be that of developing players, perhaps selling them for a handsome profit, and reinvesting that money in the playing squad. That’s not necessarily a bad way of working, and our scouring system has been improved enormously recently.
Sustainability is clearly going to be one of the key words for as long as Kyril Louis-Dreyfus and his people are running the club, and so far, I think there are some signs of genuine progress, albeit with a lot of hard work to do during the years to come.