England duo Jordan Pickford and Beth Mead thank their ex-Sunderland coaches in inspiring videos
Former Sunderland duo Jordan Pickford and Beth Mead have paid tribute to influences in the North East as part of an FA campaign.
Pickford, now of Everton, and Mead, currently playing for Arsenal, both began their careers at Sunderland before becoming full England internationals.
And as part of the FA's 'We Only Do Positive' campaign, the pair have sent inspiring video messages to their former coaches at the Black Cats.
Goalkeeper Pickford starred for the Three Lions at last summer's World Cup and continues to impress on the domestic stage after earning a big-money move from the Stadium of Light to the Toffees.
But he feels none of that would have happened without the influence of Sunderland coach Mark Prudhoe.
“Mark Prudhoe, my first goalkeeping coach at Sunderland has had one of the biggest impacts on my career," he admitted.
"He would always make training a fun environment which was important as a young footballer to make sure we enjoyed it.
"If you enjoy it first, the winning comes after.”
Mead, meanwhile, is expected to form part of the England squad that travels to France for the 2019 Women's World Cup later this year.
The striker is drawing attention after a string of fine performances for the Gunners and recently helped the side defeat big-spending Manchester United to reach the final of the FA WSL Continental Cup.
And she believes her progression is in part thanks to ex-Sunderland Ladies boss Mick Mulhern - who helped develop several of the current England side.
"A huge thanks to Mick Mulhern, who was my manager at Sunderland Ladies," she said.
"He put a lot of faith in me at a young age and has been a massive building block in my career.
"He taught me a lot of things at a young age, put me in at the deep end and allowed me to play against top players and top teams.
"I just want to say a huge thank you to him."