Through the Premier, we’re on our way……

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Salut! Sunderland welcomes all SAFC fans, and any strays who support other clubs but find themselves here by accident or design, to the 2008-2009 season.

Despite our surprisingly low ranking (119th when last we looked) in the Soccerlinks hit list – which seems to be based on a much lower number of “unique visitors” than independent statistical records suggest is true – our daily average has been climbing steadily since the site was launched at the beginning of last year.

The stats tend to be all over the place. The country-by-country table in the right sidebar must include hits to other Salut! site, because the figure that appears nearby – 61,000+ – is the one to be regarded as accurate.

We remain junior league players by comparison with Ready to Go, A Love Supreme and the official club site, among others, and see ourselves in any case as complementary, not in competition. We have healthy relationships with others, official and otherwise, with the interests of SAFC at heart (ALS, for example, permits us to use images occasionally, RTG is happy to include links to this site on its SMB and Pure Football message boards and we are more than content to contribute articles to ALS from time to time, as in the new edition out in time for today’s opening game).Latest_issue169

But we enjoy no favours from official sources and rely entirely on the efforts of four people:

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Pete Sixsmith…….. fan, home and away, since boyhood, fountain of wisdom on football and indeed most other things, too, and a fine writer whose one-line matchday verdicts (Sixer’s Sevens) and witty, incisive regular articles (Sixer’s Soapbox) look comfortable alongside the work of blokes and blokesses sitting in the press box doing it for a living.

Joan Dawson….. previously the grossly under-sung coordinator of Wear Down South, magazine of the London and Southern England branch of the SAFC Supporters’ Association. Her technological skills help ensure smooth running of the site.

Peadar O’Sullivan……
Irish photographer (it started as an amateur pursuit but, though he keeps the day job, seems to be taking off for him) who kindly allows use of his fine images, mostly taken on pre-season tours of his country.

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Colin Randall……..
founder of the site when exiled in southern France, generally keeps it going though now out in the Middle East. where there is at least the benefit of live screenings of all Premier League games.

There is also a small army of fellow fans out there whose comments or, in the case of opposing teams, previews of games v SAFC help immeasurably in making Salut! Sunderland, we hope, lively and varied. And there is our web guru Craig McGinty, who has been a quite outstanding friend of all the Salut! sites, shaping the way we look and fixing the many problems that afflict us.

We could do with many, many more comments being left and can only hope that the increased numbers of people visiting the site will eventually be reflected in a higher degree of reader participation. It is not a chatroom, but feel free to have your say, reminisce or tell us what you like or hate about Salut! Sunderland.
But we do not mean to nag: you’re equally welcome here if leaving a comment at a Sunderland site isn’t something you would do even in an earthquake (with no apologies to Younes Kaboul’s agent Rudy Raba).

A win tonight against Liverpool would be an extraordinary start to the new season. But it’s a tall order and whatever the result, we have reason to believe, despite all the reservations our histories as Sunderland fans instill in us, that Roy Keane, Niall Quinn and Drumaville are ready and able to take us to the next level.

Ha’way the Lads.

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