Sunderland stopper Pickford joins Bradford on loan

Jordan Pickford.
Jordan Pickford.
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YOUNG Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has gone out on a season-long youth loan to Bradford City.

The 20-year-old, who was at Carlisle United last season, will get the chance to further his League One education when the Bantams kick-off their new campaign against Coventry City next month.

The Washington-born stopper, who has been with Sunderland since the age of eight, remains a highly-regarded prospect at the Academy of Light and signed a new four-year contract with the Black Cats just this summer.

But with last season’s number one, Vito Mannone, being chosen as Sunderland’s 2013-14 player of the season, and Premier League champions Manchester City keeper Costel Pantilimon being brought in this summer, Pickford’s chances of first-team football with his hometown club are going to be negligible.

The England Under 19 keeper has been a regular for the Under 21s over the course of the last few seasons.

But he has also been out on loan spells to Darlington, Alfreton and Burton Albion before ending last season at Carlisle United.

And Sunderland have decided the club’s best interests are served by getting Pickford first-team football at a decent league level.

The youth loan means that should there be a problem with Mannone or Pantilimon, Pickford can be quickly recalled to provide back-up.