Sunderland under-23s Joel Asoro, Elliot Embleton and Ethan Robson surprised local schoolchildren in Whitburn yesterday, as they got ready to take part in an International against Porto tomorrow.
The Young Cats were on hand to greet youngsters and take part in a PE session, to help raise awareness of the Premier League’s Primary Stars campaign, which aims to encourage young children aged between 8-11 to play football in Primary Schools.
Sunderland under-23s entertain the Portuguese outfit Porto on Wednesday (7.45pm kick off) at the Stadium of Light, and over 20,000 fans are expected to back the team – and they will become the first team in the club’s history to play in the final of European competition.
Robson believes it will be a momentous occasion, and hopes his team can make their mark in the history books.
“It’s a great achievement from the lads to get to the final and there’s a sense of pride from everyone in what we have achieved,” he said.
“Obviously, we’ll be a bit nervous but we’ve a good game plan and we’ll be ready on the night to go and get the win.
“To have so many fans there is absolutely brilliant and we’re just really looking forward to the game now.”
Fellow midfielder Embleton echoed the thoughts of his captain and said he was excited and ready to go: “I just can’t wait for the game to come around now to be honest, and hopefully we can get the win.
“It’s the biggest crowd I’ve played in front of and it will be a great experience. We’ve beaten some good sides along the way and we are confident we can do it again.”
While tickets are free of charge, supporters must secure them in advance of the day of the game, from the Stadium of Light ticket office until 5pm on Wednesday. South Stand turnstiles in operation for those without tickets.