Academy prospect Harry joins Sunderland AFC

Academy prospect Harry joins Sunderland AFC

The club would like to congratulate Academy forward Harry Gardiner after he signed a two-and-a-half-year scholarship with Sunderland AFC.

Harry joined the SSFC Academy in the summer of 2020 and excelled during his short time in claret and blue.

During a difficult period as football grappled with the many challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, Harry’s talent and attitude shone through as he made a fine start to life at 1st Cloud Arena.

Those qualities caught the attention of a number of professional clubs including Sunderland AFC, who offered him an eight-week trial before signing him up on a long-term basis.

We would like to wish Harry all the very best for what we are sure will be a bright future in the game.

Academy manager Wess Brown said: “We were only a short part of Harry’s football journey but what a pleasure it was to be the final stepping stone on his journey to a professional club.

“We are very happy to see Harry reach another level, but on the other hand sad to lose such a great player and person.

“The first time I watched Harry I knew he would be perfect for our scholarship programme.

“He is a quiet lad on and off the pitch but his intelligence shouts louder than any player I’ve seen for a long time.

“Harry has a bright future and has excelled in our environment, and I hope he does the same at Sunderland AFC.

“We wish him all the luck in the world on his new venture.”

Harry said: “I’ve absolutely loved it at South Shields.

“It’s a family club with so much togetherness running through it.

“The coaches at both academy and first-team level were great with me, as were all of my team-mates.

“It’s a great club and I’ll definitely get to as many games as I can in the future and keep in touch as I loved every minute of it.

“You always knew there was a pathway to the first-team too because the first-team coaching staff would regularly watch us train, which always gave us that added boost.

“I feel like I’ve improved so much as a player as a result of my time at South Shields, particularly with my knowledge of the game, and I can’t thank everyone at the club enough for making my time there so valuable and enjoyable.

“I’m excited to start my journey with Sunderland as they were my boyhood club and to now get the opportunity to play for them is a special moment for me.”