Sunderland Primary Schools Boys have selected their squad for the coming season following summer trials.
The new intake face a hard task living up to the achievements of the city lads over recent years, not least the 2015-16 squad which secured the Harrison Cup league tittle, the Peter Dunn Trophy and the Durham County seven-a-side Championship.
St Anne’s, Farringdon and Broadway all have two members apiece in the new squad chosen by manager Chris Lindstedt and assistants Stu Phoenix and Martin Richards.
The 2016-17 squad features: Tye Dobbs (St Anne’s), Adam Anderson (Hill View), Will Murphy (Farringdon), Alfie Burnside (Castletown), Jack Patterson (East Herrington), Riley Mouat (Broadway), Kailem Beattie (Town End Farm), Callum Hughes (St Mary’s), Jack Waller (Broadway), Callum Stanton (Farringdon), Alfie Hodgson (St Anne’s) and John Felton-Doyle (English Martyrs).
Last season’s squad finished off with action in the inaugural English Schools’ FA/Premier League District Cup Finals at the Carrington Training Centre, now home to League One club Bury, just before the school holidays.
The Wearsiders were drawn in a group with the Stevenage, Thurrock (Essex) and Erdington and Saltley (Birmingham) School Associations and with each game only consisting of one 12-minute period, chances were likely to be at a premium.
In torrential rain, which threatened to see the whole tournament abandoned, a waterlogged surface prevented the boys from playing football and this had an effect on the Sunderlandsquad which struggled to adapt to the conditions and succumbed to 1-0 defeats in each of the three group games.
While that prevented the boys from progressing to the knockout stages, the squad was drawn against South Derbyshire, who had also finished fourth in their group, and a fine strike from distance by Daniel Collins was sufficient to secure a first win of the day for Sunderland.
A friendly game then took place against High Peak (East Midlands) and Sunderland ran out good 3-0 winners thanks to goals from Jake Hutchinson, Spencer Scott and Bryan Taylor.
Boss Lindstedt enjoyed the tournament, saying: “Although the squad never progressed beyond the group stages, the tournament was an excellent opportunity for them to play against District Associations from around the country that they wouldn’t usually get the chance to compete against at a top-class venue.
“The squad of boys have been great to work with and have been a credit to themselves, their families and the Association and their achievement in finishing as league champions for the seventh time in nine seasons shouldn’t be underestimated.
“Darlington Schools Association were to be eventual winners of the competition at Carrington, which was a fantastic achievement, but the Sunderland squad was to finish above them in the league by courtesy of winning all eight league games in the league season. A great achievement!”