SUNDERLAND are handing a trial to teenage striker Max Clayton as they take on Darlington in their opening pre-season friendly at Bishop Auckland
's Heritage Park this afternoon.
Clayton, 19, is a free agent after his previous contract at Crewe Alexandra expired, and the Black Cats are running the rule over him as they ponder adding him to their development squad.
Gus Poyet is still to confirm his starting line-up for today's game, but all three of Sunderland's summer signings are present to take on the Quakers.
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Costel Pantilimon, Billy Jones and Jordi Gomez have all travelled to Bishop Auckland, and are expected to be involved in the game.
Senior players such as Lee Cattermole, Seb Larsson and Steven Fletcher are also present, although with a couple of forgotten figures in the shape of Alfred N'Diaye and Cabral.
The duo, who spent last season on loan moves away from the Stadium of Light, have returned to the North-East despite being linked with permanent moves away from Wearside this summer.
Darlington name new signings Liam Hatch, Graham Armstrong and Tom Portas in their line-up, while winger Adam Mitchell also starts.
Mitchell joined Quakers after being was released by Sunderland midway through last season, but has been on trial at Gateshead recently.