Sunderland v Porto: Elliott Dickman's side to be backed by more than 12,000 fans for cup final

Sunderland Under-23 boss Elliott Dickman
Sunderland Under-23 boss Elliott Dickman
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Sunderland Under-23s will be backed by more than 12,000 fans for their European cup final against FC Porto next week.

The Black Cats host the Portugese giants at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday, 17 May (KO 7pm) in the final of the Premier League International Cup.

Entry to the final is free and more than 12,000 tickets have already been handed out. Supporters are reminded that although tickets are free of charge they must be secured in advance of the game from the club.

Under-23 coach Elliott Dickman, speaking at his pre-match press conference said: "It is a tremendous achievement for the lads to reach the final, we have come through some tough matches and done incredibly well to reach this final.

"More than 12,000 fans will be at the Stadium of Light and that gives us a great chance; it will be the biggest crowd some of our lads have played in front of and that is great for their development.

"It is unique to get over 10,000 people to an Under-23s match, it is something I'll never forget and I'm sure the players won't either."

Jordan Pickford, Duncan Watmore, George Honeyman and Lynden Gooch have come through the Sunderland academy in recent years and Dickman says there are a number of hot prospects hoping to emulate them.

Dickman added: "Jordan and George have come through and there are many lads in our group who want to emulate their achievement.

"Joel has done well and is a great prospect.

"There are also many other players that deserve credit."

On their way to the final, the Under-23s overcame a host of Europe’s top clubs including Benfica and PSV Eindhoven.

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