SCOTT Harrison is looking forward to getting back playing “proper football” during his spell on loan at Hartlepool United.
The 20-year-old Sunderland defender re-joined Pools for his second loan spell this calendar year for an initial month and he admits it is a different world to the reserve team football he has been used to at his parent club.
Harrison impressed for Pools during the final weeks of last season after replacing Christian Burgess following the Middlesbrough defender’s campaign-ending injury in the 1-0 defeat at Portsmouth.
He turned out six times for Pools, including the dramatic 2-1 win over Morecambe which secured the club’s Football League status.
Both central defenders had remained on boss Colin Cooper’s radar though the departure of Burgess from Boro to Peterborough on a permanent deal ended hopes of regaining the services of the 22-year-old.
Cooper then quickly turned his attentions to the 20-year-old Black Cats prospect, who has been playing for Sunderland U21s this season.
Harrison, at Pools for an initial month, said: “It is good to be back here and I am glad to be back paying in league football.
“I don’t really want to be playing in reserve football and this is far better experience for me and will develop me as a player.
“It is a lot different and a lot more physical.
“With the reserves it is quite technical but this is hard work, proper football, if you like.
“I feel better equipped this time round although I did know a few of the lads before I came in last time, which helped then.
“But this time I now know all of the lads so it has helped me settle in really quickly and it is great to be back.
“I am here for the month and looking to get my place in the team and then if I can maybe get an extension on the loan.
“I will do my best and see what happens.
“Hopefully I will get a place in the Sunderland team one day but I need to come here and get the experience and hopefully play well – if you do that you never know what will happen then.”
The Middlesbrough-born centre-half has been given the number 26 jersey by Pools and was named on the bench for last Saturday’s trip to Wimbledon.
Pools picked up their first league win of the new campaign and it is another long trip south on Saturday.
The Pools squad, who travel down on Friday, and supporters face a round trip of almost 500 miles to Whaddon Road.
But Harrison doesn’t mind the long hours on the road as it helps with team bonding.
He added: “These long trips are at least good for team bonding, you travel with all the lads and get to know them better.
“It is good to get amongst it and have a laugh with them and it is good to be together as a squad bonding with your team mates.”