James returns to RCA after a season out through injury, this will be his sixth season at the club. James career so far includes spells at Spennymoor Town FC, Sunderland AFC and Hull City. He is a versatile player who can operate in both midfield and defence. He has good vision and awareness and his defence splitting passes and free kicks are a joy to watch. He has also committed to assisting in the coaching of the players.
Pen pictures 2015-16
Players who were registered with Sunderland RCA in the 2015-16 season
Gav has signed for the club after a season out of the game, a prolific goalscorer in the Northern League in previous seasons. Let's hope he can get fit and rekindle his love for the game (a hard task indeed). More to the point let's see if he can actually turn up at Meadow Park in order to be selected.
Stephen returns for his second spell at the club, a strong powerful centre forward who is good in the air but also likes to use his pace to run at defenders.
Andy has signed for a second season at RCA after initially making a huge impact when signing from Jarrow Roofing. He has youth on his side and has the makings of a superb Northern League player. A good tackler, he possesses excellent vision and plenty of awareness around the box. Andy is out to prove that the central defensive role should be his.
Signed from South Shields, Wayne is a no nonsense old fashioned centre half, loves to get stuck in. Good in the air, he also reads the game well and is a commanding voice in the heart of the defence. A very good organiser he will bring a lot of experience to our defence.
Tommy has pledged his body for another season. He is a former professional with Sunderland AFC, Swansea City, Hartlepool, Dunfermline and Alwick Town before he joined the growing band of Irish players at the SRCA. He is an excellent ball player with an eye for a pass and scores goals from midfield. He is another like "Larks" who is passing on his vast experience to the younger players and has started help on the training ground.
"Cliffy" has signed for RCA after being released from Gainsborough Trinity at the end of last season. He is a tall central defender who has played at a much higher level, 367 games in the football league over a 16 year period including spells at Sunderland, Scunthorpe and Oldham before returning to his native Ireland to play for Derry City. He has also played for Alfreton Town. "Cliffy" is a welcome addition to the squad.
Tom has signed from Wearside League club Sunderland West End. He is a tall central midfielder who given the chance could developed into a decent player.
Stephen starts his seventh season with RCA. Stephen is a pacy and dynamic player who is equally at home on either wing or played up front as a striker. Strong and powerful, he has great touch and control on the ball and possesses a terrific shot which will see him produce his fair share of goal scoring opportunities. Having been dogged by injuries in the last two seasons he is keen to get back to full fitness and play a full part in the coming season.
Jonathan has returned from a successful foray in the USA where he played for Hartwick College, Cleveland FC and Lake Erie College where he was voted player of the season and also captained the side. Upon his return to England he has chosen to re-sign for RCA after an absence of 4 years.
Jonathan is a solid player who has good vision, loves to get stuck in and relishes a competitive game. He also possesses a wide range of passes. A quiet lad off the pitch, but a bit of a tiger once he crosses the white line. Welcome back.
Michael is another player who is starting his sixth season at the club. He is well liked by the fans because he makes things happen on the pitch. He is a fast, tricky winger who likes to run at defenders. Very direct in his play, he also possesses the ability to cross the ball at pace into the danger area. 100% energy and commitment enables him to help out in defence as well.
Tony signed last season from Consett AFC. He returns to RCA for a second spell and is keen to do well for the club. Tony is a 100% player who hates getting beat, loves beating defenders has a quality cross and chips in with a fair few goals. Had a spell out through injury toward the end of last season but looks fit and raring to go now.
James has signed from Ryhope C W and once again teams up with manager Martin Swales. He is a pacy midfielder who is good on the ball and possesses a killer pass. Definitely a one to look out for on the future.
Signed from local football Lee is a dynamic central midfielder, works tirelessly box to box and has a good awareness. Excellent passer of the ball.
Clayton is starting his seventh season at the club. He is a dynamic, speedy winger / defender who loves to take on defenders. Clayton is also a great crosser of the ball and chips in with the odd goal. He is one of those rare breed of players who always has a smile on his face and is great to have around the dressingroom.
Signed from Seaham Red Star in the close season, Adam starts his second spell at RCA. He is a tall, strong defender who is commanding in the air and read the game well.
Unfortunately a broken ankle and fibula will rule Adam out for the rest of the season.
Kevin has signed for the coming season having impressed in his appearances last term. He has speed to burn which defenders don't like and his direct approach to the game has endeared him to the fans. He is always looking to attack the opposition and has great awareness and an eye for goal.
Kieran joined us last season on load from Sunderland AFC, where he was part of the Modern Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence Scheme at the Academy. After his release from the Academy he signed for the coming season. Kieran is predominantly a right winger but is equally comfortable playing off the front man. Towards the end of last season he showed that his pace, close control and energy constantly caused problems for Northern League defences.
Jordan returns for his second season at the club. The amount of injuries this lad suffered last season would put most players off but here he is back for more and he will be pushing for the No 1 jersey. He is a tall keeper who commands his area well, distributes the ball to good effect and can easily turn defence into attack. For a tall keeper he is very agile and is a great shot stopper.
Liam has signed from Darlington 1883 after helping them win promotion last season. He is an imposing 6'3" player who has plied his trade at a much higher level. Equally comfortable playing in attack or defence, if you ask him he will tell you he is a striker and he has scored goals throughout his extensive career. Former clubs include Ebbsfleet, Barnet, Peterborough, Darlington, Luton and Gateshead.
We welcome Callum back after an absence of 4 seasons. He is a product of the Stadium of Light Academy where he spent several years before being released and joining Gateshead before signing for Durham City. Callum has worked hard recently on his fitness after losing his love for football he will be a great asset to the team if he regains his appetite for the game. He can play in midfield or up front. He is a great link up player who chips in with his fair share of goals.
Joseph starts his third season with RCA, last seasons leading scorer his tally would have been more if he had remained injury free. His direct approach to the game and his pace make him a handful for defenders. He has scored goals at every level he has played at.
We have re-signed Andrew after a short spell at Esh Winning. He is a confident keeper who is a great shot stopper, has a safe pair of hands and possesses a good kick which enables him to turn defence into attack very quickly.
Shane Jennings Position: Forward Shane has been signed from Northern Irish club Limavady United. He is a strong running player who has scored his fair share of goals. He believes he is up to the challenge of the Northern League and when fully fit will cause Defenders problems.
John had three seasons at Meadow Park after transferring from Team Northumbria, leaving us for two years at Bishop Auckland - and now he returns for his second spell at Maedow Park. JJ is Mr Reliable, a tenacious tackler who has a great engine and loves to overlap. He is well respected throughout the Northern League and has proved time and time again that he has the ability and the quality to play at this level and above. A likeable lad off the pitch, he is not to be trifled with on it.
Glen has signed from Bishop Auckland. A Sunderland lad he has the ability to pick out a pass, doesn't mind a tackle and has a good awareness on the pitch. He is another prodigy of the Sunderland Academy having played for the under 18's.
Cameron is another Goalkeeper signed from Sunderland AFC on a Work Experience contract to the end of the season.
He is a commanding keeper who has represented England at U16 level.
Ross starts his sixth season with the club after returning from Billingham Synthonia. A left sided player, Ross has developed into a very good full back who is equally at home playing in the centre of defence. Defensively he is very competent, loves to get forward in support of his midfield and has a great range of passing. Injury free he is a great asset to the squad and a pleasure to have around the club.
Joseph - Joey - Melvin
"Joey" has signed from South Shields, a talented forward who has the ability to hold the ball up. Good in the air he also has quick feet and scores his fair share of goals. Basically all the attributes of a quality centre forward.
Reece begins his fourth season with RCA after a brief spell at Washington in 2016-17. Strong and with a fierece shot, Reece is capable of turning defence into attack with his range of passing and rarely misplaces a ball. He also has the ability to take control of a game and always looks composed. He was at Sunderland Academy from 2011 to 2013 before joining Gateshead after his release.
Ryan is another product of SAFC’s youth academy and played six times for England under 19s. He is a fast pacy forward who runs at defenders, scoring goals at every level he has played. As well as Sunderland he has played for Watford, Derby, Hartlepool, Burnley and Gateshead. More recently he played for Durham City last season.
Jack signed last season from neighbours RCW. He is a tall centre forward who is able to use his height to great advantage, equally good with the ball at his feet or in the air, Jack has scored goals at every level he has played and now wants to test himself in the first division. Suffered cruciate ligament damage towards end of the season, but is looking to make a return as soon as possible.
Recently signed youngster, has spent most of this season on trisl at Queen of the South, having left South Shields in the close season. Logan has pace to burn, good control and is technically gifted. Will need to learn quickly in this league but is in a team full of players he can learn from.
Luke has returned to England after a successful spell of football in Australia with Holland Park Hawks of Brisbane. He is a creative midfielder who likes to get forward and support his strikers. Luke scores his fair share of goals from midfield and possesses great vision and awareness as well as an excellent range of passes.
Luke is now into his fifth season with the club. A Sunderland lad, he thrives on the challenges of the first division. He is a strong tackling defender who possesses good positional sense and is able to read the game well. He is always looking to support his midfield colleagues.
Recently signed from local football having started the season at Seaham Red Star res. Thomas is a quick forward who likes to attack defenders and is a proven goalscorer in lower leagues.
James has signed on a short term loan from Sunderland AFC. He is 18 years old and is on a two year scholarship at Sunderland AFC’s Academy. He comes from Dublin, has represented his country at under 16s level and has been called up to the Republic of Ireland under 21 squad four times recently. Even at 18 he is a confident individual who commands his area well, has a safe pair of hands and is always looking to put his team on the front foot with excellent distribution.
James has now returned to Sunderland AFC and has been immediately put into the under 21 team. We wish him every success in the future.
Martin has signed from local non league football. He is a fast paced forward who has a terrific strike rate in the lower leagues. The management team see a future for Martin at this level if he continues to progress as he has during the close season.
Jonathan has re-signed for the coming season. After several years plying his trade at a number of other Northern League clubs he has returned to his first club and we are delighted to have him back. Johnnie can play as an out and out striker or out wide, he is comfortable in both roles and has scored goals where ever he has played. He loves to attack defenders and has the abilty to cross into the box with terrific accuracy.
Michael, has been signed on a Work Experience contract from Sunderland AFC until the end of the season. At over 6 foot Michael is a commanding presence the penalty area, he also possesses a good kick, excellent distribution and has the ability to make difficult saves look easy. He has already represented New Zealand at under 17 level and SAFC are envisaging a big future for him.
Sunderland RCA's manager Martin has a wealth of Northern League experience both as a player and as a manager. He managed the very successful Ryhope Colliery Welfare team who in Season 2010-11 won all four competitions in the Wearside League. Repeating the feat the following year and also clinching promotion for RCW to the Northern League Division 2. He has also managed Bishop Auckland for a short time. He is passionate about his football, especially in the local area, and instills a sense of belief in his players.
"Gee" returns for yet another spell at RCA, He can't keep away.Having played for the club in his Hey-day he knows haw the club operates and brings with him a wealth of experience. He was also a member of the very successful Easington CW FC team which reached the first round proper of the FA Cup. "Gee" comes in alongside Mark Cowan as Martin Swales assistants. Never see him without a smile on his face.
Now into his sixth season with RCA, Colin is the epitome of a professional, and his influence is seen throughout the team. Colin's previous clubs include West Auckland, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Kidderminster Harriers (loan), Alfreton Town, Chesterfield, Northampton, Hartlepool, Lincoln City, Harrogate Town and Gateshead. He leads by example on and off the pitch and his enthusiasm for the game is infectious and the younger players in the squad will continue to learn from Colin.
"Larks" returns after taking a year out through injury. We say it year after year but Colin is the epitome of a professional, and his influence is seen throughout the team. His previous clubs include West Auckland, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Kidderminster Harriers (loan), Alfreton Town, Chesterfield, Northampton, Hartlepool, Lincoln City, Harrogate Town and Gateshead. He keeps coming back to RCA for the love of the game and the club. He will always lead by example on and off the pitch and his enthusiasm for the game is infectious, the younger players in the squad will continue to learn from him and if they are half as good then they will have a great career in football.
Sunderland born Ian has been with the club for three years and helped to coach the team through some sticky patches in the last couple of years. His attitude and enthusiasm is infectious and he demands a high level of performance from all the players he coaches. There is no slacking on the training ground.
After a couple of seasons playing in goal for us, Carl returned to RCA as goalkeeping coach for the 2017-18 season. With a heart as big as his build and considerable Northern League experience, Carl is a tremendous asset to the club who is always ready with an encouraging word.