SUNDERLAND 10 YEARS AGO: Edwards wings in, but four depart Wearside

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Here’s what the Echo was reporting on SAFC 10 years ago today.


SUNDERLAND new boy Carlos Edwards hopes to make more of his dreams come true after joining the Black Cats.

 The Trinidad & Tobago international grew up hoping that one day he would get to play in the English league.

 Having done that with Wrexham and Luton Town, the £1.5million signing from the Hatters now has his sights on the Premiership.

 The versatile Edwards – who prefers to play right wing but can operate on either flank, in midfield or defence – played in Luton’s goalless home draw with Cardiff on Monday before travelling to the North East to sign a three-and-a-half year contract with Roy Keane’s men.

 The 28-year-old said: “I’m not getting any younger and the time was right for me to move on to better things.

 “Growing up in Port of Spain, I always dreamed of playing in England. I got that chance, but coming to Sunderland takes it to another level.

 “I played in front of 60,000 and 80,000 at the World Cup and I would love to play in front of the big crowds every week.

 “This season could go to the wire and we are trying to get Sunderland back to the Premiership, where the club deserves to be.”

 Edwards, who was brought to the Football League by Wrexham in 2000, had a chat with T&T team-mate – and now Sunderland colleague – Dwight Yorke before committing himself to Wearside.

 He said: “Dwight had a huge part to play. I didn’t need much persuasion to come, but I spoke to Dwight and he told me he has been at other clubs like Manchester United and Aston Villa, and he has never seen better facilities than he has at Sunderland.

 “I’m just looking to make the best of my opportunity here. I’ll work as hard as any of the other players and hopefully my input can be good enough and we’re looking at promotion to the Premiership at the end of the season.”

 Edwards was Luton’s top scorer with six league goals before he made the switch to Sunderland.

 He added: “I was only given permission to come and speak to Sunderland after our game on New Year’s Day, but I’m here now and I’m delighted.

 “I’ve seen the stadium before, I played here for Luton earlier in the season when we were beaten 2-1, but it’s the first time I’ve seen the training facilities, so I’m just looking forward to better things to come.”


January revolution quick to slim down Cats’ squad

ROY KEANE’S Sunderland revolution gathered pace with FOUR players completing permanent transfers out of the Stadium of Light yesterday.

 Robbie Elliott’s New Year’s Day loan switch to Leeds United was quickly made permanent with the former Newcastle and Bolton defender signing on at Elland Road until the end of the season.

 Elliott made his Leeds debut in Monday’s 2-1 home win over Coventry to gain a fresh start in a season that had juddered to a halt for him on Wearside after falling out of favour under Keane.

 Liam Lawrence and Rory Delap signed permanent deals with Stoke after a period on loan with the Potters, who are seventh in the Championship, three points ahead of tenth-placed Sunderland.

 The Wearsiders will collect an initial £500,000 fee for Lawrence, rising to £650,000 on appearances for a player who cost £325,000 from Mansfield. Delap continues to recover from the broken leg he suffered against Sunderland in October.

 And Ben Alnwick’s £900,000 switch to Spurs was signed as Marton Fulop’s move to the Stadium of Light was also sealed.

 The Alnwick fee could rise to £1.3million depending on appearances, with Sunderland paying £500,000 for Fulop.

 There were no surprises in yesterday’s business, but the changes emphasised the significant impact Keane has made in a relatively short time since taking charge of Sunderland.

 Lawrence has scored twice in eight appearances for Stoke since joining them on loan on November 17.

 “It began as a loan move where I could play some football and show what I can do.

 “I’m really enjoying it and the team is doing really well so to sign for good is the icing on the cake.

 “This club has everything in place to get promoted. I think second place is still up for grabs and I wouldn’t be joining unless I though otherwise.”

 Elliott joins the club he played a pre-season friendly for last summer before he linked up with Sunderland.

 He said: “There was a disappointment in the summer, but things change quickly. I went to Sunderland, but their manager has now changed and the manager at Leeds has changed as well.

 “This was an opportunity I wanted to take and it’s a chance to help push us up.”

 Spurs sporting director Damien Comolli said the club was delighted to capture Alnwick – “a young and talented prospect.”

 He said: “Ben may only be 20 years old, but he has significant international and Premiership experience. Ben showed great motivation and desire to join us and I know he is excited to be part of our future.”

 Academy product Alnwick made 22 starts for Sunderland after signing a professional contract in February 2004 but has not played for the Black Cats since being dropped following their 4-1 Championship loss at Preston October.