SUNDERLAND have released three young players – Nathan Luscombe, Nathan Wilson and Dan Madden.
None of the trio have been offered new contracts and are now free to either see out the remainder of their current contracts at the Academy of Light, or find themselves a new club immediately.
Luscombe is looking to do the latter, and last night had a try out with Hartlepool Reserves in a 3-0 win over Leeds.
All three came through the youth ranks to become regulars in the club’s improving reserve side and manager Steve Bruce says he hopes they can still go on to successful careers.
“The hardest part of management is telling young players they won’t be staying at the club,” he said.
“They are all good players, but, unfortunately, you have to make difficult decisions in football.
“And even though their time with us is over, I think all three have the talent to make careers in the game elsewhere.”
Gateshead-born Luscombe is the oldest at 21 and was part of the same youth team from which Jordan Henderson, Martyn Waghorn and Jack Colback emerged.
He was part of the successful youth team which made it through to the FA Youth Cup semi-finals before losing to eventual winners Manchester City.
A bustling and fearless winger, his career has been held back by several major injuries, from which he is only now recovering.
Centre-half Madden has been at the club’s Academy since the age of 11 and made his breakthrough into the reserves. He is currently injured, having broken his nose and dislocated his shoulder with the reserves last month.
Diminutive midfielder Wilson has also made the step up to the Reserves after completing his two-year apprenticeship.
A neat and tidy player capable of scoring a goal, his height more than anything appears to have counted against the teenager.