Future Champions tournament kicks off

by Stuart Vose

U16 side set to get challenge under way.

Sunderland’s U16 side arrived in South Africa yesterday ahead of the start of the Future Champions tournament.

Head of coaching Elliott Dickman and the travelling party left the north east on Sunday ahead of today’s opening game against Mamelodi Sundowns.

Sunderland will take on the South African side at the Nike Training Centre in Soweto at 1930 local time (1730 GMT).

Several members of the squad have already featured in the Barclays U18 Premier League this season, including first-year scholar Ryan Ellison who is the oldest player on the trip.

The likes of Dan Pybus, Luke Molyneux, Andrew Nelson and Josh Robson have also made the journey to Johannesburg.

After their tournament opener, Sunderland play their second Group D game against Indian side Royal Wahingdoh tomorrow (Tuesday) before facing USYA Select of the USA on Wednesday.