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Harry Gardiner joins on loan from Sunderland

Striker Harry Gardiner has joined South Shields on loan from Sunderland until the end of the season, subject to league and FA clearance.

The 19-year-old is a former SSFC Academy player, having been part of the young Mariners’ squad between the summer of 2020 and February 2021.

He has been a regular goalscorer in Premier League 2 for Sunderland’s Under-21s this season, and scored a hat-trick in a 4-1 win over Stoke City earlier this month.

Gardiner now has the opportunity to cut his teeth in senior football with the Mariners, and will be eligible for the final six games of the Pitching In Northern Premier League season, starting against Radcliffe on Saturday.

Shields manager Kevin Phillips said: “We’re delighted to have signed Harry for the final six games of the season.

“We’re very grateful to Sunderland for allowing him to join us on loan, and I’m sure it will be a great experience for him in men’s football after his progress with the Under-23s.

“It will be a challenge for Harry, but he brings lots of qualities to our squad and hopefully goals, too.

“He’s the type of striker who loves to run in behind and is a typical fox in the box with good movement.

“I’m excited to work with him and pleased to add some extra competition to the squad for the final six games.

“We’ve had a long, hard season and there is a bit of fatigue and tiredness among the players, so to be able to add a fresh pair of legs to challenge the others is very beneficial.”

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