The big positive Sunderland can take from Wembley heartache - and why it's good news for Jack Ross

Jack Ross hopes to see positive benefits from Sunderland's trip to Wembley
Jack Ross hopes to see positive benefits from Sunderland's trip to Wembley
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Jack Ross is eyeing positive benefits in the long-term after three of Sunderland's academy graduates featured at Wembley.

The Black Cats finished the clash with Portsmouth with a trio of youth products on the hallowed turf, with youngsters George Honeyman, Lynden Gooch and Denver Hume all handed their chance to impress in the Checkatrade Trophy final.

Coverage in association with Grand Central

Coverage in association with Grand Central

And all three caught the eye - Honeyman excelling in the first-half before Gooch and Hume added some much-needed energy and enthusiasm in the latter stages of an exhausting clash.

While the result wasn't the fairytale ending the Sunderland graduates would have hoped for, their appearances served as another reminder of the fine work being done at the Academy of Light.

Ross was pleased to be able to hand the club's academy graduates an opportunity, and is now keen to see their appearances yield long-term results for Sunderland's famed player pathway.

The Scot has been a firm believer in youth during his spell on Wearside and hopes that academy players and coaches can be inspired by the success of the club's latest crop of talented youngsters - which will in turn provide him with some more homegrown prospects in the future.

“I think it’s pleasing for the club, because at every club you need to have a proven pathway," said Ross.

"People will always point to the high profile players that have came through our academy, and Jordan Pickford and Jordan Henderson are obviously the ones that are mentioned on a regular basis, but you always have to have ones within in the group regularly and involved with the first team.

"To finish the game with George, Denver and Lynden on the pitch, players that have came through the system at the club, is encouraging because it gives hope.

"That’s not just to the players in the academy, but to the staff as they do a lot of work on a daily basis and their job is geared up to deliver players.

"There’s a little bit of pride to take from that today."