Sunderland sign former Manchester United goalkeeper

New Sunderland goalkeeper Max Johnstone.
New Sunderland goalkeeper Max Johnstone.
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Former Manchester United goalkeeper Max Johnstone has signed a one-year deal at Sunderland AFC.

The 19-year-old is the latest addition to the club's academy and will go into Elliott Dickman’s Under-23 squad for the 2018-19 season.

Sunderland's Academy of Light.

Sunderland's Academy of Light.

The stopper, who has been on trial since the start of pre-season, joins the Black Cats after spells with Manchester United and Fleetwood Town.

Johnstone played 45 minutes in the recent Under-23 4-2 friendly win over Sunderland RCA, with first team manager Jack Ross watching on.

Johnstone said: "I’m buzzing to sign, the last few weeks have been really good and all the lads have helped me settle into the club.

"The facilities here are absolutely unreal. I’ve been so impressed with everything, it is a massive club to represent and I can’t wait to get started. It is an important year for me, I’ve got to get my head down and work hard."

Academy manager, Paul Reid added: “Max was a player who was flagged up after he came in during the previous season.

"He was someone we wanted to take another look at and Mark Prudhoe was very complimentary of him after he came in last year.

“His attitude has been brilliant since he came in and it has been nice to see him improve over the weeks. He is a good size and character, and he is someone we think can develop.”

Johnstone is the younger brother of former Man United keeper Sam Johnstone, who spent last season on loan at Aston Villa and has recently signed for West Brom.

He joined Man United from Fleetwood Town in summer 2016 after impressing on trial and was a regular in United's Under-18s, while also appearing for the Under-23s.

His signing was confirmed on the day the Under-23 fixtures were announced.

Dickman's side will kick-off the new Premier League 2 campaign on home soil against Stoke City at Eppleton Colliery Welfare on Monday 13 August (KO 7pm).

They then make the short journey to Tyneside a week later as they face rivals Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Monday, August 20 (KO 7pm).

An away trip at Reading then proceeds that before successive home games with West Bromwich Albion and Norwich City follow.

The home fixture against Newcastle is scheduled for Monday, January 7 at the Stadium of Light (KO 7pm).

The longest trip of all is saved until last, Sunderland travel to Southampton for their final match of the season on Monday, April 29.

Full fixtures:

AUGUST

Monday 13 Stoke City H 7pm Eppleton Colliery

Monday 20th Newcastle United A 7pm St James Park

Saturday 25th Reading A 1pm Madejski Stadium

SEPTEMBER

Monday 3rd West Bromwich Albion H 7pm Eppleton Colliery

Sunday 16th Norwich City H 12.30pm Stadium of Light

Monday 24th Wolverhampton Wanderers A 7pm AFC Telford

OCTOBER

Monday 1st Aston Villa H 7pm Eppleton Colliery

Saturday 6th PL Cup

Friday 19th Manchester United A 7pm Leigh Sports Village

Sunday 28th Southampton H 12.30pm Eppleton Colliery

NOVEMBER

Friday 2nd Fulham A 7pm Craven Cottage

Saturday 10th PL Cup

Monday 26th Middlesbrough H 7pm Eppleton Colliery

DECEMBER

Saturday 1st PL Cup

Monday 10th Wolverhampton Wanderers H 7pm Eppleton Colliery

Monday 17th Norwich City A 7pm Colney Training Centre

JANUARY

Monday 7th Newcastle United H 7pm Stadium of Light

Monday 14th Stoke City A 7pm TBC

Saturday 19th PL Cup

FEBRUARY

Sunday 3rd Reading H 12.30pm Eppleton Colliery

Saturday 9th PL Cup

Monday 18th West Bromwich Albion A 7pm Kidderminster Harriers FC

Saturday 23rd PL Cup

MARCH

Monday 4th Aston Villa A 7pm Banks Stadium

Monday 11th Manchester United H 7pm Stadium of Light

Saturday 16th PL Cup

Saturday 30th PL Cup Quarter Final

APRIL

Sunday 7th Middlesbrough A 1pm Riverside Stadium

Monday 15th Fulham H 7pm Eppleton Colliery

Monday 29th Southampton A 7pm St Marys Stadium