Elliot Embleton: Sunderland midfielder on Blackpool promotion, first goal at Stadium of Light and Black Cats dreams | Football news

It was an unusual situation to say the least.

Sunderland made it to last season’s Sky Bet League One play-offs, and Sunderland midfielder Elliot Embleton won promotion in last season’s Sky Bet League One play-offs.

The black cat problem? He did so while playing for Blackpool, after joining them on loan mid-season.

“It was weird,” Embleton says. Sky sports. “When I joined Blackpool they were like 15th in the league, and then we had that streak of games to get to the play-offs.

“And it was like, ‘Is Sunderland going to get Blackpool in the semi-final or the final?’ We just had to see what happened.

“I really didn’t think about it because I knew I couldn’t play in the league games. But getting into the play-offs was more about putting the minutes on my legs and playing every game. It was nice to play, but I always knew. if Sunderland got [to the final] I couldn’t have. “

Embleton had been on loan for experience after injury problems halted his development. Whether Sunderland would have loaned it to a club that would win promotion from the same league, while the Black Cats came out in the semi-final stage, is a discussion for another day.

Embleton gained promotion with Blackpool through the play-offs earlier this year.

However, there is no question that Embleton has returned to the Stadium of Light this season sporting a totally different player. The 22-year-old is more confident, more composed and making more of an impact on a team that is second in the table and trying to escape League One in the fourth asking time.

He may not have been around to help fuel Sunderland’s promotion in the second half of last season, but that experience is certainly helping them now. And there was never a doubt that he always wanted to return.

“It was a huge thing for me to play on a promotion team in this league,” he says.

“Promotion helped with confidence. And playing, that’s what helps you develop. I had a good coach. [at Blackpool] That helped me develop tactically, and we had a good 16 game unbeaten streak, so everything was good there.

“Playing 20+ games, playing every week for two months in a row, winning games, getting assists and scoring a few goals here and there. It was a huge boost.

“Hopefully coming back to Sunderland now I can use that experience here. I’ve been here since I was six or seven. It’s my club, I want to play here. It’s my hometown and my family all support Sunderland. So to see me playing for his team is a great thing. “

Embleton celebrates his first goal at the Stadium of Light in August

As a season ticket holder at the Stadium of Light as a child, Embleton had dreamed of celebrating a day in front of the crowd he used to be a part of.

That dream really came true in August when he scored his first home goal for Sunderland, a goal that earned him the Sky Bet League first goal of the month award. With his family present, it was a special moment.

“It was also my first goal at the Stadium of Light, in front of 30,000 fans,” he says. “I’ve been here since I was seven, so it was a great achievement for me.

“I never knew how he would celebrate it, but when he walked in and I heard the atmosphere from the crowd, he was bouncing.

“I had a season ticket when I was nine or 10 and obviously the atmosphere was amazing back then. Scoring in front of the crowd was even better. I just ran in any direction I could, [my family] everyone was present at the game, and it was a proud moment for them. “

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Highlights from the Sky Bet League One match between Portsmouth and Sunderland.

One of the most spectacular things about the goal, however, was the way he doubled it from the edge of the area with his left foot. It showcased the 22-year-old’s talent, as eagle-eyed observers will recall that he scored a very similar one in last season’s play-offs, but this time he cut from the other side and scored it with the right hand.

It takes some talent to hit that kick with either foot.

“It was natural and practical,” says Embleton. “I could always use both feet. Going both ways is a very useful skill.

“I used to go to my dad when I was four or five and practice on my right foot and my left foot, making sure I could do everything with both feet. And it just stuck with me.”

It was probably that talent as a young man that caught the attention of England’s youth teams. Embleton played for all age groups, from under 17 to under 20, and appeared alongside some of the young stars currently occupying spots on Gareth Southgate’s team.

Embleton in action for the England youth team in 2017

“It was amazing to play for their country, and representing them was huge for me. They are the best players of their age in the country. I learned a lot and it was great.

“There were very, very good players. Phil Foden, Mason Mount, Jadon Sancho. It was crazy watching them play for England’s first team. [at the Euros] but they have the quality, so I was not surprised.

“I would love to continue playing international soccer if I can develop and continue to work hard. Hopefully I can have a chance. People who have played even below the soccer league continue to play for their country. I am still only 22 years old.” So let’s see what happens. “

For now though, Embleton just wants to help his hometown club return to the Championship, having witnessed their dramatic fall from the Premier League.

He’s done it once with Blackpool, and there’s no reason he can’t do it again.

“It has been difficult,” he admits. “We are in League One but we have 30,000 fans. It shows how great the club is and hopefully we can start climbing leagues again.

“For me personally and for the club it would be huge. And for the fans. They want us to go back to where they are and where we should be.”

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