Sunderland youngster Jack Diamond eyed for extended Harrogate Town stay - and more Black Cats could follow
Harrogate Town assistant manager Paul Thirlwell is hopeful that Sunderland youngster Jack Diamond will be allowed to extend his stay at the National League side.
The 19-year-old was handed his first start during the 1-1 draw at Maidenhead United on Saturday, and Thirlwell is hopeful that the Black Cats will sanction a longer stay for the talented forward - who initially penned a one-month agreement at the CNG Stadium.
And while he is yet to get off the mark, Thirlwell believes the switch has been good for the young forward - and now hopes he will be allowed to continue his progression with Harrogate.
“We hope that’s the case,” admitted Thirlwell.
“But obviously Sunderland have a part to play in that as well.
“I was chatting with him the other day and he’s enjoying it and thinks it’s good for him.
“Young lads can sometimes stay places a bit too long and get comfortable, and you have to branch out and try other things.
“He’s embraced that challenge so far.
“He’ll definitely get pitch time and now it’s up to him to keep the shirt - and I think that’s a good situation to be in at his age.”
Diamond isn’t the first Sunderland youngster to enjoy a temporary stint with Harrogate, after Andrew Nelson enjoyed a similar spell in 2017.
And nor may he be the last, with Thirlwell forging a strong link with his former club and specifically Kevin Ball - one of his former midfield partners now in charge of securing loan moves for the Black Cats’ young talents.
“It’s definitely a help having Bally there,” he claimed.
“It was the same when we took Andrew Nelson a few years back - it does help because you’re speaking to a friend rather speaking to someone you aren’t familiar with.
“It doesn’t mean we’ll get preferential treatment if there are other clubs interested, but it’s good speaking to Bally to get some honest advice and feedback on what the player is like.
“You’re always going to have a link with clubs you’ve previously played for and I think it works both ways.”