Ryan handed trial at Stadium of Light

A PROMISING local footballer has been handed a five-day trial with English Premier League side Sunderland.

Ryan Caulfield, who is currently part of north Belfast side Crusaders’ under-14 squad, set off for the Stadium of Light on Sunday (August 14).

The Ballyclare Secondary School pupil was expected to visit the club’s Academy for training and play in two matches. He was also due to be given a tour of the Black Cats’ impressive stadium.

A centre-forward, Ryan scored 43 times for Crusaders last season and his goal-scoring prowess caught the eye of the north-east club earlier in the year when he was asked to play for them in the St Kevin’s Invitational Tournament in Dublin at Easter.

He was first spotted by Sunderland at the County Festival in Cookstown earlier this year where Ryan played for the IFA’s County Antrim team as part of its County Excellence Programme. He has also been scouted by a number of other English Premier League clubs and one top-flight Scottish outfit.

His manager at Crusaders, John Savage was full of praise for the teenager. “He has vision, good awareness, he has pace over the first 10 yards and has a real ability to score goals. I think at one stage last season he scored in every game for 15 consecutive matches,” he said.

Full story in this week’s Newtownabbey Times