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Pen pictures 2020-21

Players, managers and coaches who were with Sunderland RCA in the 2020-21 season.

Dominic Agnew


We have signed "Dom" on a dual registration from South Shields. He is an exciting young prospect who is looking to progress at this level and above. he is a speedy midfielder who is not afraid of a challenge and has very good vision, is an excellent passer of the ball

Max Allen


Max starts his third season at the club. He was restricted by injury last season but hopes to remain injury free this season. He has developed into an outstanding defender who is comfortable in any defensive position. He is dependable and quickly adapts to situations as they occur. A solid defender who is comfortable on the ball and has the ability to pick out a decisive pass. Another plus for this defender, he is well liked by the supporters who have taken him to their hearts.

James Armstrong

Full back, Midfielder

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.

Thomas Best


Tom returns for his second spell at the club after a season at Easington Colliery. A product of Hull City's Academy. He was released by Hull giving RCA the opportunity to sign him. He is a skillful midfielder who is very comfortable on the ball, is a good tackler with a great range of passes. He also chips in with his fair share of goals.

Joshua Buckett


Signed from the Youth team Josh is a dynamic winger who is at home on either wing. He is expected to progress with experience in the first team squad while continuing to impress in the youth set-up

Dane Burlace


Dane has signed after being released by Leeds United. He was offered a professional deal at Leeds United after spell in the Newcastle United Academy. He impressed when playing for Leeds Under 19s team. Dane won the League Football Education's ‘Goal of the Season’ in the 2018-19 season. An attacking defender / midfielder he will be an asset to the club. Injury in pre – season has curtailed his training and it is unlikely he will be in the starting eleven soon. One for the future..

Anthony Callaghan

Utility player

RCA welcome back Anth to the club. The former Washington, South Shields and Blyth player is a great addition to the squad. He is a left sided player who is comfortable playing at full back, wing back or up front,  He has got great composure, pace and flair. Who can forget the wonder goal he scored at Celtic Nation on a freezing cold night with only 11 fit players. More of the same please Anth.

Stephen Callen


Stephen has signed on a dual registration with Consett until the end of the season, then who knows this crowd favourite may return on a permanent basis. Stephen is a pacy and dynamic player who is equally at home on either wing or playing 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. 

Jonathon Carr

Defender, Midfielder

Jonathan returned to RCA last season 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.

Aaron Croft


Aaron has returned to the club after a short spell at Billingham Synthonia, he is currently working as a coach at Middlesbrough Foundation having previously held the same position at Sunderland AFC. He is a pacy midfielder with good awareness and passing abilityand is comfortable in all midfield positions which an asset to the team. Previous clubs include, Washington, Seaham Red Star and Easington. 

Clayton Davis

Midfielder, Winger

Clayton has returned after a season and a half playing golf before signing for Whickham. We all know what Clayton can do 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 dressing room.

Mark Davison


 "Sparky" starts his 6th consecutive season for RCA. He is one of the most respected strikers in the Northern League. A strong and direct centre forward who can be relied upon to score with head and feet as well as setting up opportunities for others, "Sparky"  was RCA's leading goalscorer last season and is looking forward to bagging a few in the coming season. Previous clubs include: Ryton, Washington, Spennymoor and Morpeth. "Sparky", will be looking to strike up a partnership with "AJ" Andy Johnson, another prolific striker. 

Robbie Dean


"Deano" signed last season from Marske United where he was part of the team that secured promotion from the Northern League in the 2017/18 season having also helped them win the title in 2014 / 15. He played over 200 games for the Seasiders. He was also part of Spennymoor Town's FA Vase winning team in 2013 when they beat Tunbridge Wells at Wembley. "Deano", is a great shot stopper and a keeper with great vision, able to turn defence into attack, his distribution is first class. He brings a wealth of experience to the team and we are plaesed to have him at the club. 

Jack Devlin


Jack has signed from Easington, a former Ryhope CW player he has a an uncanny knack of popping up in the penalty area and scoring goals. He is another who has signed toward the end of the season in a bid to get fit for next season's campaign and to assist in our Durhamd Challenge Cup matches.

Henry Dorward


Henry returns for his second season at RCA having signed last season after being released by Morecambe FC. A defensive minded midfielder he still managed to score his fair share of goals in the Morecambe Academy team. We didn't see the best of Henry last season but are hopeful that he can make an impact this term. another player who always has a smile on his face a true character in the changing room.

Dylan Elliott


Dylan, is now beginning his fifth season with RCA having joined us from Easington Colliery. He was at Sunderland AFC from the age of 8 to 15, before joining Hartlepool United on a scholarship from the age of 16 to 19. Dylan has also had Northern League experience, spending two months at Bishop Auckland. He is a competitive central midfielder with a phenomenal range of passes and is always fully committed in the tackle.

Ben Errington


Ben has signed for RCA after being released from South Shields in the summer. He is a tall central defender who is very good in the air and has deceptively quick feet. He Reads the game well and his no nonsense approach to defending may be old school but its effective. We are expecting Ben will mature as a player at RCA and are happy to help with his development. 

Kieron Ezard


Kieron has returned to RCA for a second spell at the club. He started his career at Stockton and has proved in his time to be a capable goalkeeper. He has a safe pair of hands, is a good shot stopper with very good distribution skills. He commands his area when called upon and although he is still learning his trade he is confident enough to step into the No:1 shirt if required.  

James Fairley


James has signed for RCA  during the close season after spells at Whitley Bay and Bishop Auckland last season. Prior to that he was at Marske United. During the pre-season he has shown his willingness and effectiveness both in midfield and as a forward. He is very skillful and has an eye for goal. Injury free he will be a great asset to the team.

Brad Forster

Central defender

Brad returns once again to RCA after spending a number of years at Sunderland West End. Another no nonsense central defender he loves a tackle and is very good in the air. With good player around him his all round game should improve enormously. 

Niall Frampton


After impressing in pre-season training the management team have signed Niall. He is seen as a define one for the future.

He has quick reflexes and is a great shot stopper, he deals with crosses efficiently and has confodence in abundance. Niall has agreed to sign for /rca despite having received offers from other clubs.

Thomas Graham-Bage

Central defender

Tom was due to sign at the beginning of the season but picked up a nasty knee injury which needed surgery. He is now free from injury and has signed to hopefully get fully fit and assist in our Durham Challenge cup matches with a view to get ready for next season. Tom is a strong tackling, powerful central defender who is good in the air and who possesses good distribution skills. 

Paul Griffith


Paul has been brought in as cover for "Deano". Currently playing for Horden he has signed on a "Dual Registration"

Craig Hodgson

Central defender, Midfielder

Craig returns to the club after a two year absence. His previous clubs include Dunston UTS and Bishop Auckland. He can play as a central defender or in the centre of midfield and he is equally effective in either role. He reads the game well, is good in the air, loves a tackle and has the vision to pick out attacking options quickly. Welcome back Craig. 

Callum Hope

Utility player

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.

Ryan Leonard


Ryan has re-signed for RCA after a spell in America followed by a season at Easington. He has matured into an excellent winger who is lightening quick, can cross the ball with both feet and possesses a fearsome shot. He scores his fair share of goals as well as supplying ammunition for the forwards. 

Keaton Marrs


Keaton has recently signed for the clus after returning from three month Training in Sweden, he was recruited to play for IFK Mora after being released by Mansfield Town. His previous clubs include Middlesbrough FC and Newcastle United. Keaton is a good shot stopper and commands his area well de also has excellent distribution. He could push "Deano" for the number one shirt.

Ross McNab

Full back

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.

Dale Milburn


Dale signed last season from Brandon United for a second spell at RCA, A product of Martin Gray's Academy he signed professional forms for Darlington before being sent out on loan to Ryhope Colliery Welfare. He is a quick forward who has a direct approach which unsettles defenders and has a knack of scoring spectacular goals.  

Nathan O'Neill


This is Nathan's fifth season at RCA, having signed from neighbours Ryhope Colliery Welfare. Tall and dominating in the air, Nathan is capable of scoring all kinds of goals, from two yard tap-ins, and headers to 25 yard screamers. He proved last season that he is effective in a central midfield role. There are not many better strikers in the Northern League when he is firing on all cylinders.

Luke Page


Luke has re-signed after a spell at Dunston where he has been very impressive. Luke is a strong tackling, powerful central midfielder who can quickly turn defence into attack. Luke was joint winner of the Committee Player of the Season award and the Fans' Player of the Season in 2017-18.  

Ethan Partridge


Ethan has impressed the management team when playing for the youth team. He is a solid defender who likes to get forward in support of his team mates. He is good in the tackle and is a good passer of the ball, always looks cool and unflustered. The journey starts here.

Ross Preston


Ross is another player who is starting his fifth consecutive season with the club. Injuries last season reduced his appearances but when he regains full fitness there a few better central defenders in the league. His partnership with "Swanna" is certainly in the top two or three in the league. Ross is a powerful centre back who is good in the air, is a good distributer of the ball and has the ability to read the game and make it look easy. He is cool under pressure and is rated very highly at SRCA. 

Greg Swansbury

Central defender

Greg has re-signed to help the club fulfil the rest of its fixtures this season. He joins Swaz and Gee in the rebuilding process and is a massive influence in the team. At 6'4", Greg is a powerful, imposing, no nonsense, old school central defender. As expected, he is good in the air, but he is also deceptively good on the ground with great awareness of situations as they develop. His leadership on the pitch is inspirational and he always leads by example and is 100% committed to the football club both on and off the pitch..

Adam Ward

Utility player

Adam returns to RCA after a number of years at various Northern league clubs. He is a equally at home either as a full back or as a central midfielder. Adam has an emense range of pass and uses it to great effect when switching play. By his own admission he is not fully fit but he is putting in the effort and hopefully it will pay off.

Layton Watts


Layton has been signed from Guisborough Town, He returns for his second spell at the club having previously playing 7 times under Martin Swales in the 2020-21 season. A fiercely competative midfielder he is tenacous in the tackle and delivers balls into the box. 

Martin Swales

Martin Swales

Martin has returned to take charge of the first team until the end of the season. Martin has a wealth of Northern League experience both as a player and as a manager. During his previous tenure at the club he was successful in not only maintaining our status in the Northern League Div I but also giving the spectators something to cheers about with very good runs in the cup compeyitions.

He is passionate about his football, especially in the local area, and instills a sense of belief in his players.

Mark Cowan

Mark Cowan
Assistant Manager

Mark has been a big supporter of RCA off the field and has now jumped over the fence to join the football management. After a bad knee injury put pay to his footballing career as a youngster, Mark, from Birtley, ran teams in the Gateshead and District Sunday League. Mark brings commitment, energy, enthusiasm and management experience to the organisation of the team.

Gary Errington

Gary Errington
Assistant Manager

"Gee" returns for yet another spell at RCA, He can't keep away.Having played for the club in his Hey-day he knows how 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 Martin Swales as his assistants. Never see him without a smile on his face.

Colin Larkin


Coach, Forward

"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.