Busy weekend for youngsters

by Stuart Vose

U18s and U21 sides both in action.

Sunderland’s first team head to Reading on Saturday, but it’s a packed weekend for the club at Academy level too.

The under-18s, coached by Elliott Dickman and Craig Liddle, entertain Stoke City tomorrow at the Academy of Light (KO 11am).

The youngsters have had an enforced break from Barclays U18 Premier League action after their game at West Brom was called off last week.

They head into Saturday’s game on the back of a resounding 4-1 win at Wolves in mid-January – their first outing following the Christmas break.

Then the spotlight turns to Kevin Ball’s under-21s, who are tasked with a tough away game at Chelsea on Sunday.

The fixture, which was originally scheduled to take place at Brentford FC, has now been switched to the Blues’ training ground, with kick-off set for 2pm.

Ball’s side drew 2-2 with Fulham on Wearside earlier in the week and are currently on a five-match unbeaten run.

Match reports from both games will be available on the club’s official website.