Bradford midfielder joins on trial
Sunderland have taken on yet another trialist, with Bradford City midfielder Eliot Goldthorp joining the club on a trial basis.
The 18-year-old only recently joined Northern Premier League Premier Division outfit Matlock Town on a work experience loan but that has been cut short after just three weeks to allow Goldthorp to head to the Academy of Light.
Matlock’s manager Paul Phillips told the Ripley and Heanor News that Bradford had allowed the player to stay with the club until the end of the season but that changed once Sunderland made their move:
Bradford said we could have him until the end of the season but Sunderland have come in and want to take a look at him and obviously that would be great for him.
We wish him all the best but have told him that he would be welcomed back with us if things didn’t work out.
Sunderland’s next under-23 fixture is away to Liverpool on Monday evening, in a game that will see fellow trialist Wouter Verstraaten make his first appearance for the club, and it’s possible that Goldthorp will feature in the same game.
As well as the loan at Matlock, Goldthorp featured for Mossley and Radcliffe in loan spells during the past year, scoring a hat-trick for the former in an FA Trophy tie against Cleethorpes Town.
Hibs lucky to have Ross
Hibernian have started their new era under the management of Jack Ross well, with his former coach at Sunderland John Potter at his side as his assistant.
Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster has told the Edinburgh Evening News that she is not surprised by the impact Ross has had and believes the lessons he learned at Sunderland have already borne fruit for the Scottish Premiership club:
We obviously knew a lot about him before he came in because of what he’d done at Alloa and St Mirren before he went down south. He was a very promising manager in Scotland for a long time.
How he turned that St Mirren squad round was tremendous. I think going to Sunderland, he probably learned a lot about stepping up to a bigger club and brought some of those qualities with him to Hibs. I think we’re lucky to have him.
Although the upturn in form has led to fans believing a European push is possible, Dempster says just getting the team into the top six and staying in the Scottish Cup are important for her club:
We absolutely knew the qualities of Jack and John when we asked them to join the club, we weren’t in a dreadful position when they came in but, let’s be honest, we could have been in a better position.
We’ve had a really positive period under Jack. We had a strong end to 2019. Jack was very honest in his assessment of the team and where he felt we could make some improvements and what we could do in the January transfer window to help him. I feel like we’ve more or less managed to do that.
I feel very positive about how Jack and John have started, I think they’re enjoying life at the club and I think we suit each other well.
The games have been hard and fast since they came in so we’re probably still settling into a way of working together. The transfer window came upon everyone pretty quickly and now we’re focused on hopefully having a good end to the season.
People are talking about Europe, but our first priority has to be to make sure we’re in the top six because that’s important for us.
If we achieve that, then we look up the way for the remainder of the season and it’s also a major plus to still be in the Scottish Cup at this point in the year because it’s a tournament everybody enjoys.
We’re getting into a groove now. It’s been really good since Jack came in. He certainly looks like he’s enjoying it