In 1973 Sunderland’s cup winning team that beat the great Leeds United team in the F.A. Cup final included six graduates from ex-manager Alan Brown’s youth academy.
Only the word academy hadn’t been invented then. (Monty, Pitt, Horswill, Kerr, Hughes and Tueart).
Two weeks ago the Sunderland team that beat Hull City 1-0 included five of last season’s Academy Under 23 squad (Robson, Honeyman, Asoro, Maja and Gooch).
Chris Coleman made the brave and correct decision to promote the youngsters against playing experienced professionals with a poor attitude. He knows that team spirit is fostered and engendered by players going through good and bad times together over a good period of time.
Over recent years our academy has produced an England captain (Jordan Henderson), an England goalkeeper (Jordan Pickford) as well as numerous pros now playing league football including (Waghorn, Egan, Hourihane, Meyler etc.).
How did Sunderland's players fare in Saturday's game against Ipswich Town? Click here for our man's ratings
Imagine the pride of local lads (Henderson, Pickford, Honeyman, Robson) making their first team debuts with their parents and friends in the stands. Do you think they would be giving 100%?
It is hoped that CC will invite J Rodwell in to watch a re-run of Saturday’s game to see Ethan Robson playing in his first full league game, playing in Rodwell’s position for buttons (relatively), and seeing him tackle, accurately pass long and short, win headers, make every recovery run and play as though his life depended on it.
Credit to Ged McMenemy (former academy director), Kevin Ball and Robbie Stockdale and Chris Coleman for bringing some old fashioned values in.
Last week's Letter of the week: Don't blame Sunderland council for city's rubbish problems