Grimsby Town

Ex-Sunderland youngster Stephen Wearne joins newly-promoted Grimsby Town

Former Sunderland youngster Stephen Wearne has joined League Two newcomers Grimsby Town after leaving Wearside this summer. Midfielder Wearne was one of crop of out-of-contract players released at the end of last season, but he has been snapped up by the Mariners on a one-year deal following their promotion from the National League via the play-offs.

The 21-year-old spent two seasons at Sunderland, spending his first campaign playing for the U23s and then last season playing three times - and scoring two goals - for the first-team in the EFL Trophy in the first half of the season, before joining Torquay United on loan in January. He scored three goals in 14 outings for The Gulls before an ankle injury ended his season prematurely in April.

"I'm over the moon to sign for a club like Grimsby Town, it was an easy decision for me," said Wearne, who came through the youth system at Newcastle United and later spent time at Middlesbrough, before joining Sunderland. "I had a few offers, but I was waiting for the one which felt right.

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"I had a phone call with the gaffer [Grimsby boss Paul Hurst], and I really liked his ambition, so as soon as I put the phone down, I knew this was where I wanted to be. I watched the play-off games last season and I'm excited to experience the same togetherness the group had.

"Also, the football was dead exciting as well so I'm looking forward to being part of it! Next season I just want to play as many games as I can and create as many goals as possible, whether that's by scoring or providing assists.

"I want to play exciting football and I hope I can get the fans off their seats."

Hurst added: "Stephen is an attacking player who can play in the wide areas, behind a striker or as a more attack-minded midfielder. He's versatile, very clever, good at finding pockets of space and comfortable receiving the ball and being creative with it.

"It's important that we have a couple of players in the squad who are versatile. We don't want to have a massive squad, so I'm sure at some point, he'll be able to show his versatility.

"However, in my mind, we have signed him to be one of the creative players at the top end of the pitch. I think he's at an age now that he’s ready for men's football after having a decent spell out on loan at Torquay United last season.

"He was doing very well there until he suffered an injury. Speaking to him, he's a lad who's clearly very passionate about his job and wants to do well.

"So, I think we're getting a hungry player that's keen to impress and I'm certainly looking forward to working with him."


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