New Sunderland defender explains why he swapped Stateside for Wearside

The Stadium of Light, home of Sunderland AFC
The Stadium of Light, home of Sunderland AFC
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Confident new Sunderland signing Sam Brotherton is looking to make a big impression after swapping Stateside for Wearside.

The 20-year-old, a New Zealand international who has six caps at senior level, has been signed for Elliott Dickman's Sunderland Under-23 side.

Having represented the Wisconsin Badgers at the University of Winscosin in the Big Ten Conference, Brotherton has moved to Wearside for his first taste of English football.

Brotherton said: "The players are a good bunch of lads and I know Michael Woud from my time in New Zealand so it’s nice to have a familiar face around.

"I’m an aggressive player, a good communicator and a good leader.

"I like to think I can read the game pretty well and I’m good in the air.

"I need to keep working on my range of passing, decision making and speed of play.

"I used to play centre midfield until I was about 16 or 17 then I moved backwards into the defence.

"It’s a high level here and I need to adapt to that. Every player wants to play games and I’ll be doing all I can to earn an opportunity like that."

Brotherton was named National Soccer Coaches Association Player of the Week in October, becoming the first University of Wisconsin men’s soccer player to earn the award.

The defender also has experience at youth international level, representing New Zealand at under-20 and under-23 level.