Australia look settled but old, England vibrant but inconsistent. It should make for a fascinating Ashes
Newcastle United fans know the current crop of players were relegation candidates just weeks ago with Steve McClaren left to pick up the pieces
Ahead of Sunderland's first pre-season friendly against Darlington we were granted access to a training session - see the pictures and video below
Westoe RFC will supply ball-boys and girls for three Rugby World Cup games at Newcastle's St James' Park after outlining their community work
Given Manchester City, who beat Newcastle early on last year, felt they had it in them to compete in the League Cup, the Premier League, Europe and the FA Cup, why can’t Alan Pardew’s squad cope with a few extra cup ties and their league campaign?"
Two minutes in, Tyler Blackett played a terrible pass along his backline. Phil Jones blocked when Wickham sought out Steven Fletcher"
Daryl Janmaat saw a second-half header well saved by Guzan and a left-foot effort fly just past and survived a torrid first-half"
Ex-Rotherham star Juan Pablo Socino used his low centre of gravity to get beyond the gain-line on a succession of occasions"
When you lose tight games like that it hurts, no doubt, but to have them nine wickets down in 35 overs only chasing 107, I think the lads did a fantastic job"
On Sunday afternoon, Jack Colback became the 57th player (according to the internet) to play for both teams across this great North East footballing divide"
Although we’ve won the last two games we’ve finished – Sunday’s game against Middlesex was abandoned because of the rain – it’s been a little disappointing on a personal note"
After their recruitment drive Newcastle United can look towards the start of the season with more confidence"
Somerset, Kent, Sussex and Glamorgan – who we face tomorrow – are four of the longest journeys we could be asked to make and it's been tough"
Daryl Janmaat looks like a tidy player, but is a like-for-like replacement for Mathieu Debuchy, who was one of the squad's best players last season"
Colin's response was that if it’s good enough for the Premier League – and he would have experience of that, having played at the very top level"
I like the look of Newcastle's business. They've signed some good players with pace and there's a nice mix in there too"
Fourteen million pounds is a lot of money to spend, and I think if the move doesn't go through Sunderland will have dodged a bit of a bullet"
Mike Williamson and Fabrcio Coloccini will forge the central defensive partnership for two reasons. Firstly, they work well together. Secondly, because there is nobody else"
Perez, the £1.5million signing from Tenerife, is an interesting one. Having never played a top-level game, it seemed unlikely that he would be asked to run at Vincent Kompany on August 17"
A problem for Alan Pardew in recent seasons, and he's spoken about it often enough, is what he has called the soft underbelly"
Consider this: Luke Shaw, not good enough to get in England's first-choice World Cup side cost Manchester United £34m"
Fabio Borini is not worth £14million. By any objective measure, his CV is not that of a player worth so much – just yet. But this summer, Borini is certainly worth £14million to Sunderland"
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Editor-in-Chief, Trinity Mirror North East
Darren was appointed editor of the Chronicle in September 2011, following a six-year spell as editor of the Evening Gazette in Teesside.
He has held a number of senior roles on regional newspapers across England, Scotland and Wales over the last 15 years and is now editor-in-chief of Trinity Mirror North East.