'Amazing': Tony Mowbray and Anthony Patterson react as Sunderland youngster lands major award

Anthony Patterson has been named the North East Football Writers' Association Young Player of the Year for 2022.
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Patterson beat Middlesbrough's Isaiah Jones and team-mate Jack Clarke to land the award, succeeding his team-mate Dan Neil.

The 22-year-old began the year on loan at National League side Notts County, but was recalled as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak and never looked back.

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He established himself as the club's number one under new head coach Alex Neil, and made a major contribution to their play-off success by denying Sam Vokes at Wembley with his side then still leading Wycombe Wanderers by just one goal.

He has continued to go from strength to strength from there, an ever-present in Sunderland's so far very promising Championship campaign.

Patterson said he was thrilled with the recognition and hoped to help Sunderland climb further up the table in 2023.

"I’m delighted to receive such a special award," he said.

"To start last season at Notts County before winning promotion, signing a new contract and being given the number one shirt has been a whirlwind, but I’ve loved every minute.

Sunderland goalkeeper Anthony PattersonSunderland goalkeeper Anthony Patterson
Sunderland goalkeeper Anthony Patterson
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"I know how special the award is, and to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Jordan Pickford is something I’m very proud of.

"I’m learning every time I step out onto the football pitch, and hopefully I can continue to help the team progress up the table."

The NEFWA Awards Night, sponsored by William Hill and the FWA, will take place at the Ramside Hall Hotel and Golf Club, near Durham, on Sunday, March 5. Ticket details are available by emailing [email protected].

Sunderland were represented across the main award categories, with Ross Stewart finishing second in the men's player of the year award behind Newcastle United's Bruno Guimaraes. Durham's Sarah Robson retained the women's player of the year award, with talented Sunderland youngster Neve Herron finishing second.

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Sunderland head coach Tony Mowbray paid tribute to the 'unassuming' Patterson after his win, saying he has a big future in the game.

"It's a great story for the boy. He's an unassuming kid who keeps himself to himself - and what's fantastic about him is that he finds a way to keep the ball out of the net. He uses his frame fantastically well and he's got a personality that is good for a goalkeeper, he's calm and assured and he relaxes the backline.

"He does the job, every goalkeeper's job is to keep the ball out of the net and he does that exceedingly well. We are working hard on his distribution, we want to to help him get out of his box and spread the centre-halves so that he can play between them with his feet. He's doing that well and as confidence grows, he has a huge future in front of him and hopefully with this football club. He's a big asset."

The recipients of the prestigious John Fotheringham and Bob Cass Awards, for outstanding service to North East football, will be announced in due course.

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation/NEFWA personality of the year award, which was handed to Middlesbrough-born Chris Kamara last year, will also be revealed next week.