Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fan-Tastic Cats Packing a Punch, Says the New Boy; JIMMY DELIGHTED TO HAVE DUNNE DEAL

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fan-Tastic Cats Packing a Punch, Says the New Boy; JIMMY DELIGHTED TO HAVE DUNNE DEAL

Article excerpt

Byline: STUART RAYNER Football writer stuart.rayner@reachplc.com @sturayner

YOU might think Netflix's documentary about Sunderland's 2017-18 season of doom and gloom might not have players queuing around the block to join - but it made centreback Jimmy Dunne realise it was the club for him.

The 6ft 4in central defender joined on loan from Burnley this week and could make his debut at home to Luton Town this afternoon.

Dunne says it was an easy decision to sign, citing the passionate supporters and the thought of playing for a club with the same work ethic as Sean Dyche's Clarets.

"I have seen the whole Netflix documentary and the biggest thing I took from it was the level of support," said the 21-year-old, who visited Birtley Amateur Boxing Club on Thursday.

"That was the most obvious thing people took from the documentary.

"It was a time in the club's history they will not want to remember because things did not go to plan and that can happen at a club - but what did grab me the most was the fact that, no matter what happened, the fans still wanted to get behind the team.

"Sunderland have huge support, they are a huge club with a tremendous history.

"There is a huge Irish support back home and my friends are really excited about Sunderland, so I just thought it would be a tremendous place to come and keep developing as a player and a person."

Even as they finished bottom in last season's Championship, the Wearsiders still enjoyed the country's 17th-biggest home attendances and took large followings away too.

This term, with the positivity of new fan-friendly owners and a winning team to ride, has been better still.

Average home gates are up nearly 4,000 this season and are only likely to rise if they win promotion.

An incredible 7,804 away fans watched the New Year's Day victory over Blackpool and 46,039 were at the Stadium of Light on Boxing Day to see them beat Bradford City. …

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