This Sunderland youngster is set for a pre-season chance

Ellis Taylor is likely to be given a chance to make an impression in the first-team environment this pre-season after signing his first professional contract.

Lee Johnson will integrate a number of Sunderland youngsters in the early weeks of pre-season
Lee Johnson will integrate a number of Sunderland youngsters in the early weeks of pre-season

Taylor enjoyed a stellar campaign last time out, a crucial part of the U23 side that made it to the play-off final of Premier League 2 Division 2 despite still eligible for U18 selection.

An exciting left winger, Taylor has signed a three-year deal at the club where he has already played for the best part of a decade.

Sunderland plan to hand a number of that successful U23 team a chance to impress in pre-season.

Anthony Patterson, Josh Hawkes, Ollie Younger and Dan Neil are all known to be in contention to impress Lee Johnson in the opening weeks of the build up to the new campaign.

And while his age means Taylor is not yet in the same bracket of those players in terms of his wider development, he is likely to spend time in the senior set up when the first-team squad returns later this month.

Sporting Director Kristjaan Speakman told in his post-season review that the U23s would be rewarded not just for their results, but for their success in shifting towards a more aggressive playing style in the closing weeks of the season.

"They've had an incredible period of time over the second half of the season, we feel the team's played slightly more towards the Sunderland that we want," he said

"They've benefitted from getting the rewards out of that and that's given a bit of momentum. We had a fantastic game down at Selhurst Park and it was another demonstration of how the fans can make the environment to try and inspire the players.


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"Everyone is gutted that again you fall short by such a small margin, but again we're proud of the players and we've got a cohort of that group that's going to come into the first-team squad for the start of next season."

Taylor will likely be a key player for the U23s again next season as he gets his first taste of the senior environment.