FORMER Sunderland attacker Craig Lynch has joined Rochdale until the end of the season.
The 21-year-old, who can play on the flank or up front, terminated his contract with Sunderland by mutual consent last month - as did fellow youth academy product, defender Liam Marrs, who had previously been on loan at Boston United.
Neither Lynch, from Durham, nor Marrs from Cramlington had been able to make the first-team breakthrough at Sunderland, despite being on the fringes several times.
Both though went on to become Under 21 development squad regulars.
Lynch turned professional in the summer of 2010 after two years in the youths and got into the first team squad at the end of the 2010/11 campaign, twice coming on as a late substitute in home games against Fulham and Wolves.
He also had a spell with Hartlepool United, making six appearances and scoring one goal during a one month loan period in 2012.
Once it became clear that Lynch had no realistic first-team future at Sunderland, the youngster agreed to terminate his contract to move on as quickly as possible and Rochdale boss Keith Hill has secured his services,, subject to confirmation from the Football League and the FA.
Dale’s assistant manager Chris Beech, said: “He’s got a good pedigree after coming through a top class academy at Sunderland.
“We brought him in to have a look at after he left Sunderland and he played well in a reserve game at Blackpool and during our training sessions.
“Craig has an understanding, as we do, that he has got to get up to Rochdale tempo and that is going to take him three to four weeks.
“So from a supporters’ point of view I’d just ask for a little bit of patience because they might not get to know him quite so soon.”