DAVE Watson, a dedicated player with a fine record of unselfish team service, steps willingly into a fresh role for Sunderland against Carlisle United at Brunton Park tomorrow afternoon, when he will be making his first appearance for the club at centre half.
Before deciding on the change, caretaker-manager Billy Elliott talked it over with the player first and found a typical readiness to apply himself to any task in service of the team. So play-anywhere Watson goes back to the position in which he first attracted Sunderland’s attention while with Rotherham United.
This effort to tighten up in defence will be well received by supporters, who have been suggesting it freely for some time. But Watson’s power in the air will not be lost to the attack entirely for he will no doubt be up for set positions or whenever the breaks are right for him to push forward.
His replacement at centre forward will be 17-year-old Jimmy Hamilton, who gave his most impressive first team performance when leading the line in Watson’s absence against Queen’s Park Rangers three weeks ago. Though they lost that game 3-2 Hamilton’s enterprise helped to keep alive a winning chance right to the finish. And there would surely have been a happier result if there had been a tighter approach to the defensive task.
These are the only changes from the side which drew with Aston Villa last week, but there is a change of substitute, with John Lathan taking over from Mick McGiven.
Team: Montgomery; Malone, Coleman; Horswill, Watson, Porterfield; Kerr, Hughes, Hamilton, Chambers, Tueart. Substitute, Lathan.
McGiven’s availability for the next three games was decided this afternoon when accompanied by club secretary Mr Ron Linney and Mr Elliott he attended a meeting of the FA disciplinary Committee in Sheffield to appeal against his sending off in the game against Huddersfield Town at Leeds Road on September 23. The decision went against him.
Sunderland youth team to entertain Northern Intermediate League leaders Sheffield Wednesday at Washington New Town tomorrow afternoon (2.0) will be: Roxby; Hepworth, Bolton; Ashurt, Robson, Blyth; Stronach, Southwick, Henderson, K Harrsion, Kent. Substitute, Henderson M.
SUNDERLAND’S board of directors considered a mass of postal applications for their vacant managerial post at last night’s normal weekly board meeting, but issued no official statement afterwards.
Chairman Keith Collings would only says: “The matter was considered at our meeting last night but it is not possible to offer any comment at this stage.
Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on November 10 1972.