Salut! Sunderland’s collective votes in the London and SE branch of the SAFC Supporters’ Association poll have been counted and duly cast: Stéphane Sessegnon emerged from your votes as our player of the season, with overwhelming support, while Jack Colback won a close contest with James McClean as Young Player of the Season.
There was single-vote backing in the main section for McClean again, Seb Larsson, Niall Quinn (or, if ineligible as he surely is, Kieran Richardson) plus one I didn’t quite get: Wes Brown ”for the og at Old Trafford”. Someone voted in a category that wasn’t actually there, Most Improved Player, a designation – as another reader pointed out – that every schoolboy always hated.
The reasoning was sound throughout, but I felt it appropriate to choose a contributor who plumped for both winners and Vince Richardson seemed to sum it up perfectly:
Sessegnon, player of the year by a mile. Sheer class and bamboozles defenders of all reputations. Not many SAFC players over the years get TV commentatators drooling over their silky skills. He would fit into any Premiership side (apart from the Mags of course).
Younger player of the year is a harder slot, McClean would be the obvious choice but I would plump for Colback on the basis of consistency. Jack has been very calm, assured and a great asset to the whole team in the engine room. He plays with a confidence way beyond his years.
McClean is a worthy contender as he has been inspirational, but has not quite achieved that high standard every week.
Vince will find a mug winging its way to him in the next few days.
It was not actually a good time to invite Sunderland supporters to vote for anyone, with the team underperforming quite alarmingly. And the season is not over by a long way so, in the hope that Martin O’Neill can remotivate those who have been letting us down, I will keep open the vote until the last game is over and done with. That means another prize, assuming the electronic postbag yields at least half a dozen more entries between now and then (a big assumption given the paltry hit rate over the past 10 days or so).
It would help if people could limit themselves to the two available categories rather than create new ones and vote in each rather than leaving Monsieur Salut to guess. As before I will stick the posting at the top of the home page; I will also add all the comments received so far below though I fear they will appear as one, from Kingshirker.