Australia academy players visit Stadium of Light

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A GROUP of aspiring football players made the trip from Down Under and said g’day to Sunderland stars.

Australian academy Inzane, which coaches youngsters aged between three and 16 to play football, recently visited the Stadium of Light to see the Black Cats in action.

A total of 60 people made the trip from the academy, which is based in the town of Merewether in New South Wales.

During the visit they were treated to hospitality at the Stadium of Light and got to meet Black Cat stars Wes Brown, Titus Bramble and goalkeeper Craig Gordon.

They also stopped off at the home of Queens Park Rangers, Loftus Road, and Chelsea, Stamford Bridge.

Clayton Zane, the founder of Inzane, said: “It was a real honour to attend such a great football stadium and watch a Premier League match in action.

“The city has a deserved reputation for its passionate football supporters, as well as its warmth and hospitality, and that definitely came across when we visited SAFC.

“Watching a fantastic football match, and letting our young people see just how rewarding a career in the sport can be was great, and the whole team at Inzane was left inspired by the visit to Sunderland.”

Gary Hutchinson, commercial director at Sunderland AFC said: “It was a pleasure to host the team from Inzane.

“We’re really passionate about working at a grassroots level, and it was great to be able to help inspire such a promising young team, as well as providing them with the great hospitality we’re renowned for as a club.

“Building links internationally is great for the club.

“SAFC is already well established on an international stage, but by making links with businesses and organisations around the world, we can really help to grow the reach of the club.

“The fact that the team at Inzane is already considering another visit next year shows that we are doing a great job in making SAFC stand out from its Premier League competition off the pitch too.”

Twitter: @tomwhite7