'Excited' Alan Browne reveals Sunderland Premier League aim

New signing Alan Browne hopes his experience will help take Sunderland to the Premier League. The 29-year-old is already settling into life at the club and will move his family to the north east following the switch from Preston North End where he has spent the last decade.

“It’s a good project,” he said, following his move to the Black Cats. “They’ve got a lot of young players and that’s where I can add a bit of value. At the same time, I say they are young, but they are quite experienced themselves. And obviously challenging for the play-offs a couple of years ago. It’s a really talented squad and obviously the size of the club, it’s a massive club and one of the biggest in England. That was a real standout for me as well.”

Speaking to Kristjaan Speakman at the outset, he knew it was the right move and added: “I met the sporting director first, he was telling me about the values of the club, the history of the club, and what they are ultimately trying to achieve and why they are bringing me here.

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“That’s obviously something I wanted to be a part of. And then I spoke to the manager [Regis Le Bris] after. He shared his ideas with me on how he likes to play and approach games, whether it’s different styles in tactics and we talked through all of that and it’s something I believe in myself, how he wants to play. I’m excited.”

He added: “I’ve thankfully had a lot of good dressing rooms over the years and that’s why I stayed at Preston. It’s a really good club.

“Along the way I obviously gained a lot of experience and developed as a player and developed my game management. It’s a really tough league and I found that out over the years. It’s a tough task ahead but I think it’s achievable for this club and the squad.”

Playing for the Republic of Ireland has been a thrill for Browne, who has never played in the Premier League but has played against some of the best players in the world for his country.

He hopes that will continue as he has plenty of years left yet and by his own admission, in terms of the Republic, “I haven’t set the world alight.”

What can Sunderland fans expect to see from him, what can he bring?

“I think I can bring my talent first and foremost and also my experience, it’s something I think this team will need if they want to make the next step,” he reckoned. “They have got all the talent there. I’ve played against them and beaten them and lost against them, so I hope to bring my nous to the team. Hopefully I’ll settle in and I’m raring to go.”

He continued: “That’s the aim, to settle in, move my family up which is a big move in that regard. But I need to get firing on the pitch as that’s the most important thing and what you’re judged on. And hopefully I can help them achieve success this year which would be to get promoted to the Premier League.”

Browne revealed the only person he spoke to prior to the career move was former Sunderland and Stoke City boss Alex Neil. The midfielder revealed that the words of the Black Cats’ last promotion-winning boss helped him to make up his mind that the Stadium of Light was the right place to go.

He said: “The only person I spoke to was Alex Neil, who only said good things. I do take his advice on board. He is someone I worked with for quite some time at Preston. I don’t think he would point me in the wrong direction. He had a lot of good things to say about the club.”