Elliott Dickman has this message as new-look Sunderland Under-23 side start pre-season with a win
Sunderland’s new-look Under-23 side started their pre-season campaign with a 3-2 friendly win over West Auckland.
Goals from Nathan Newell, Will Harris and Harrison Sohna sealed the victory at The Wanted Metal Stadium.
The Black Cats’ second string narrowly missed out on promotion to the top flight of Premier League 2 last season after a penalty defeat to Crystal Palace in the play-off final.
And after that successful campaign it is anticipated that a number of the under-23 side – such as Josh Hawkes, Dan Neil and Oliver Younger – will be challenging for first-team places this term.
Earlier this month, Sunderland confirmed the signing of six new players for their under-23 squad.
“It’s great to see the lads back out there – it was a good exercise from our point of view,” said U-23 boss Elliott Dickman.
“We combined sides with our Under-18s and Under-23s, and I was pleased with some of the football that was on show.
“It’s good to see the players putting into practise what we’ve been doing on the training pitch, so that was very rewarding.
“We’ve got a few new faces this year and I’ve really enjoyed working with them so far.
“Everyone has made them feel welcome and it seems like they’re enjoying it, which is the main thing.”
In terms of new signings, winger Ethan Kachosa joined from Leeds United after a successful trial spell, while Northampton Town’s Tom Scott also joined after the midfielder impressed during a spell at the Academy of Light last season.
They join ex-Crystal Palace defender Cameron Jessup and former Aston Villa midfielder Harrison Sohna in penning two-year deals at the club.
Meanwhile, former West Brom wideman Tyrese Dyce and Guiseley’s Nathan Newall have both penned one-year deals on Wearside.
Cieran Dunne, Patrick Almond, Sam Wilding, Stephen Wearne, Vinnie Steels and Will Harris – all members of last season’s successful squad – have signed fresh one-year deals with the Black Cats.
First-half XI: Carney, Kachosa, Almond, Fieldson, Newell, Burke, Wearne, Sohna, Ryder, Trialist, Harris.
Second-half XI: Bond, Trialist, Jessup, Johnson, Williams, Singh, Scott, Gowling, Trialist, Gardner, Trialist.