GUS Poyet’s boys are not the only Black Cats in the running to claim cup glory this season.
St Aidan’s Black Cats under-12s team have also made it to a final showdown of their own.
The youngsters, who train and play their home games on pitches next to Herrington Workingmen’s Club, are in the final of the County Cup to be played at a date yet to be arranged.
They overcame Bishop Auckland St Mary’s 4-2 in their semi final game to set up a date with Teesside team Norton and Stockton Ancients.
Black Cats coach Lee Quinn today paid tribute to his players for their achievement.
And like Sunderland AFC – who have not been in a major final for more than 20 years, and not lifted a cup for more than 40 – it’s been a while since they were so close to silverware.
“We’ve had the club seven years and this is the furthest any of the age groups have gone in a cup,” said Lee.
“We’ve played teams from all over the North East to get to where we are and we can’t wait for the final.
“Most of the lads in the team are Sunderland fans, but we’ve got a couple of Newcastle supporters as well, and they’re excited for the game against Manchester City on Sunday.
“Hopefully,we can win our own final too and we can make it a double celebration.”