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Second player snubs Sunderland to sign for South Shields

A second player snubs a contract from League One club Sunderland, to sign for Northern Premier League side South Shields.

The Echo understands that the non league star, a full-back, is on the verge of putting pen to paper on a three-year deal.

That man is Jordan Hunter who spent the 2019/20 season on loan at the Mariners and won the club’s Player of the Season award, looked as though he would stay at Sunderland, especially after they offered him a two-year deal.

The 20-year-old is available on a free transfer after the expiry of his contract and now favours a move which will see him play regular first-team football and feels that South Shields can provide him with all the help further his career.

South Shields joint-manager Graham Fenton confirmed they were hopeful of concluding a deal for the Liverpool born midfielder.

He said: “Jordan was one of our best players last season, so we are hopeful of getting a deal finalised in the next couple of days.”

The Echo understands Hunter has been offered a three-year deal at the minnows on less money than he was offered by Sunderland.

Speaking back in January, Hunter had hoped to remain at Sunderland, however admitted that he was impressed with the ambition and progress of the Mariners.

He said: “I wouldn’t be surprised if you see South Shields in the National League and pushing for a place in League Two.

“In an ideal world I would stay at Sunderland, but of course I would be open to staying at South Shields.”

This comes months after Dutch player Wouter Verstraaten snubbed an offer made by the Mackems to sign for non league South Shields instead.

The highly-rated 23 year old opted for a new contract with the Mariners, despite interest from the Black Cats.

Back in February 2020, the Black Cats took Verstraaten on trial and made an offer for him to join their under 23 set up having featured in a game against Liverpool.

However, the player wants to focus on his university studies whilst also staying with his current club who have set their sights on the EFL.

Verstraaten said: “I am very happy to have signed this deal, as it took a while before we finally got it done.

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“I am very pleased that South Shields have shown their confidence in me during these unprecedented times.

“Ever since I joined the team in January, I have felt the professionalism and will to win this league.

“That this didn’t happen last season was obviously a very disappointing moment for the whole club, but I feel that we are very motivated to make things right next season. That is one of the many reasons I have signed with South Shields.

“I feel that it is the right place for me to grow as a player and improve in areas that will help me perform to a higher level.

“It is a pleasure to play in front of such a big crowd every week. There are not many places where the stage is set every weekend like it is at South Shields.

“I’m currently back in the Netherlands staying fit and spending some time with my family and I’m in regular contact with the management, but we just have to wait to see when the Government allows us to get back together.”

He is a former player of PSV Eindhoven, FC Eindhoven, Pacific Tigers and Portland Timbers’ Under-23s and can play anywhere from the back line to midfield.

Hish first club on English shores came just last year with Northern League side Consett, as he wanted to study for a Masters in finance at Durham University.

Shields saw him, snapped him up in January and made 14 appearances before the season was suspended.

Now that a second player snubs Sunderland to sign for South Shields, fans couldn’t help but take to social media…

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