Exclusive: Jack Diamond discusses his Sunderland future as League Two clubs eye loan move
Jack Diamond says he is ready to force his way into Sunderland's first-team - after helping to fire Harrogate Town to a remarkable promotion.
The 20-year-old shone for the North Yorkshire side as they defied the odds to gain a place in League Two after beating Notts County 3-1 in the National League play-off final.
And Diamond, who grabbed the third goal in the triumph, now has his eyes fixed firmly on making a mark at the Academy of Light.
Phil Parkinson is keen to seen the youngster in the flesh and is in no hurry to send the youngster out on loan in the near future, despite swathes of interest from League Two.
Grimsby Town and Carlisle United are among the clubs to have made checks on Diamond in recent months, while Bolton boss Ian Evatt is a fond admirer of the forward. Harrogate, too, would be interested in the opportunity to bring Diamond back to the CNG Stadium on a temporary basis.
But both player and club see Diamond's immediate future on Wearside - with the forward telling The Echo that he is determined to 'make an impression' upon his return to the Academy of Light.
Speaking ahead of the final, Diamond was unsure as to when he would be able to return to training with the Black Cats. But he is in no need of a summer holiday, and is keen to make his return as soon as practically possibly.
"I want to be back at Sunderland as quickly as possible,” he said.
"The gaffer hasn't seen me in training with him yet and I want to go in there and make an impression as soon as I can.
"After Sunday, my focus turns to trying to get into the Sunderland first-team."
Diamond’s performance in the play-off final drew plaudits from far and wide – and didn’t go unnoticed by the Sunderland faithful.
Indeed, after a man of the match performance in the semi-final against Boreham Wood, Diamond was blown away by the level of support he received – and is now looking to emulate his performances on the first-team stage at the Stadium of Light.
"It's nice to hear,” he said of the support he has received.
"If I can do that at Harrogate and they notice that, then hopefully I can do the same when I come back."
"Sometimes when you go out on loan you can worry that you'll be forgotten about,” he continued.
"But my attitude towards the whole thing was that it was a forward step, and I feel like my game has come on a lot and now there's no reason why I can't go in there and impress and do what I can do.
"It's my goal to be in that first-team, it's what I'm there for."
Speaking to BBC Newcastle about Diamond last month, Parkinson said: “We’ve got Jack Diamond coming back from his loan spell, and I’m looking forward to looking at Jack in pre-season with us.
"There’s a pathway for young players to be in our team.”