Sunderland are set for an interesting summer ahead, as they look to plan for another season in the third tier of English football.
The Black Cats missed out on promotion back into the Championship whilst under the management of Lee Johnson this term, as they were beaten over two legs by Lincoln City in their League One play-off semi-final.
That condemned Sunderland to another season in League One, and the Stadium of Light faithful will be eager to see their side put that behind them and to win promotion into the second tier in the upcoming league campaign, which is set to get under way in August.
Sunderland’s new Sporting Director Kristjaan Speakman and the executive team recently met with the Supporters’ Collective, and were quizzed on some topics surrounding the club moving forwards.
The notes from the meeting read as followed, and his plans to keep their promising young talents at the Stadium of Light are likely to go down well with the club’s supporters heading into future seasons.
“KS explained clubs run an academy to provide elite opportunity for local players, develop players for playing minutes on the pitch, and to create potential assets.
“Young players will have different reasons for participating at each age. The club has to be aware of individual aspirations and opportunities. There must be a strategy to retain players / parents, be a positive narrative about SAFC role in this and change the recent trend. Many local players want to play for their local club.
“Youth development has to be collaborative and inclusive. The academy must be the right place for each player and players have to be able to see a pathway to success.
“KS has the responsibility to lead a team capable of demonstrating to parents their child is valued by the club and that Sunderland is the right club for them.”
Which of these Sunderland players were carded the most for the club in each of the last 16 seasons?
This will be pleasing to hear for the Stadium of Light faithful.
We’ve previously seen a number of younger players move on from Sunderland over the years, with the likes of Bali Mumba and Jose Hugill being just some of the talents to depart early into their time with the Black Cats.
The financials might have been beneficial to Sunderland at the time, but you would imagine that some of the club’s supporters will be hoping that they can keep hold of their brightest talents moving forwards.
If they can do that, then it really wouldn’t come as a surprise to see Lee Johnson’s side working their way back towards the top flight in future seasons.