Dream come true for Jordan

by Stuart Vose

Stopper delighted with new deal.

One of Jordan Pickford’s dreams has come true after the youngster penned a new long-term deal with the club he’s supported all his life.

The highly-rated 20-year-old has signed a four-year contract extension at the Stadium of Light after making the break into league football in 2013-14.

Pickford spent time on loan at Burton and Carlisle, playing a combined 31 games and impressing during both spells.

He has also featured as an unused substitute at senior level for Sunderland as well as making his senior debut during the pre-season Peace Cup tournament in July 2012.

“I have always loved the club and all I have ever wanted to do my whole life is play for Sunderland,” the keeper told SAFSee after putting pen to paper.

“I’m really happy to get [the contract] done. Hopefully I can come back flying in pre-season.

“This season has been massive for me. I played 13 games at Burton and 18 at Carlisle, which was great experience.”

The youngster is continuing to hone his game and has great figures to learn from in reigning Player of the Year Vito Mannone and goalkeeping coach Andy Beasley.

And he’s hoping to make further progress in the new season following a busy 2013-14.

“Vito has had a fantastic season; he’s done really well,” he said.

“Andy Beasley has helped me massively, too – he’s a really good coach and praises us, but if we make a mistake he’ll tell us too. It’s all a learning curve for me at the moment.

“I think this has been the biggest year for me so far. Moving away from home to Burton and away from my parents was another experience, plus footballing-wise it’s been good for me.”

Pickford was included in the U21 squad which travelled to Hong Kong recently for the Soccer Sevens tournament, helping the side reach the semi-finals.

Due to the travelling he couldn’t watch former club Burton in action in the League Two play-off final but admitted he was sad to see the Brewers narrowly miss out on promotion.

“I was sad to see Burton had lost in the play-off final. I was on the plane to Hong Kong at the time so I couldn’t watch it, but I was hoping they’d do well.

“It wasn’t to be but hopefully they can bounce back.”