It has been quite a week for Sunderland’s academy with another two national honours in just three days.
On Friday, the under-14s clinched the Albert Phelan Cup after a resounding 4-0 victory over West Ham United at Loughborough University.
The young Black Cats saw off Manchester United, Everton and Bolton Wanderers in their group before getting the better of Derby County 4-0 in the last eight and then Manchester City 3-2 in the semi-final.
Man Utd provided the opponents in the Albert Phelan Northern Final, but the Lads ran out 4-1 winners to book their place in the National Final where they later defeated the Hammers.
Two days later (on Sunday last week), Sunderland’s under-13s were also at it as they secured their place in the Premier League National Final after getting the better of Liverpool over two legs in the Northern Final.
A comprehensive 5-1 aggregate win over the Reds came after the Lads had seen off Manchester City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Everton.
The under-13s will now face Fulham on June 8 in the National Final.
Speaking about the academy’s latest achievements, Jordan Moore, who is the under-13s/14s lead coach at the academy, said: “It’s been quite a few months for the academy because we’ve had the under-13s, 14s and 15s all in National and Northern Finals.
“There are still some to come across other age groups and it’s a real testimony to the work that goes on at the club.
“The lads have been absolutely top drawer. The under-14s had a bit of a setback earlier in the year but they’ve come back and shown great resolve to do so.
“As a group they pull each other through tough periods in games and they are a credit to the academy.
“It was pleasing that the under-13s managed to get minutes in that final too. That’s a big thing for us because there’s a real pathway here through the age groups.
“Everyone buys into it at the academy. Every department has a role to play and everyone is working so far to make sure there’s a pathway for these players to go up through the age groups. This isn’t just a coincidence.
“We are turning up to national tournaments and showcasing the fact we have very good players, but that’s from the hard work that everyone is putting in together.”