SUNDERLAND boss Peter Reid is hoping to build a Sunderland side full of Wearsiders which will challenge for the title within a decade.

That is Reid's dream as the club unveiled their innovative new project, Academy 2000, which aims to develop the club's young talent.

Sunderland's £10m academy at Whitburn Moor will be the first to have young players, aged from nine, and senior professionals training alongside each other.

Reid and Academy director Ian Branfoot are excited as they look to build a side which can compete with the likes of Manchester United.

Reid is hoping it will be packed with local talent as he said: "That is the plan - getting a team with a nucleus of Wearsiders and challenging for honours.

"People might call it a pipe dream, but that is what we are going for.

"It would be fantastic to have five 18-year-olds in the first team, all brought through the academy. I firmly believe it can happen.

"We want to see everything on one site, the young players and the professionals working together.

"It will be part of their education and can only help them as they develop.

"Nowadays if we need them in the first team, some might find it hard to handle. They would be scared stiff now if they were thrown in and had to play with say Kevin Phillips.

"This way they will be more prepared if they have a chance to train alongside them, build a relationship and grow in confidence."

"This is the way clubs are going and we have to do the same.

"You look at Manchester United and the players they have brought through - Giggs, Beckham, Scholes, Butt - do I need to go further?

"Then there's Liverpool - Owen, Fowler, Gerrard, Carragher - and I remember the Arsenal team that George Graham took over with Adams, Merson and Rocastle.

"All those players have saved their clubs an awful lot of money. I'm a great believer in having the young players alongside the senior pros.

"I certainly believe that if you get young players who have got a feel for the football club because they've been here since nine or ten, you've got a relationship and you get them playing for your club.

"I know football is changing day-to-day, but I'm a great believer in developing your own young players."

Academy director Branfoot is also confident the new scheme will see Sunderland rivalling the best in Britain as well as Europe.

"When you're talking about getting positive results from it, you have got to look at the very, very long-term,'' he said.

"I went to FC Nantes two years ago and I was explaining that I was the new Academy director at Sunderland and asking questions about how to go about it, and they said 'Ian, we've been doing it for 25 years'.

"That's why you see the top end of the results in the French national team. They've been developing players for 25 years in a system similar to the one we've been doing for two years, then there's Ajax too in Holland.

"You're talking in terms of long-term development of six, seven or eight years before we see a really positive result.

"But when we start, we'll be the only club where the nine-year-olds will be training at the same venue as the senior professionals.

"That's a great education. Whatever we as coaches can give them, actually playing with top-class professionals is a fantastic advantage.

"And it's a great advantage for me to be able to tell parents that, if their kid is good enough, he will get the opportunity. That's a massive factor.

"There are a lot of the top clubs now where it's pretty much impossible, unless you're absolutely outstanding, to break into the first-team."

Branfoot knows Sunderland will have to compete with Premiership neighbours Newcastle and Middlesbrough for the cream of young talent and he admitted: "It can be difficult.

"That's why we are targeting them so young. We are looking at them raw and trying to develop them into little gems.

"There are a lot of distractions for the young ones now with computers, but we have to make the football fun and get them interested.

"This site will be one of the best in Britain and Europe. It might not produce lots and lots of players, but we are looking to produce more quality."