Ben Wilson

Ball's message for loanees

by Stuart Vose

Take your chances, pair told.

Kevin Ball has urged Sunderland’s young loanees to make the most of their assignments in the Football League.

Youngsters Craig Lynch and Ben Wilson (pictured) have recently left the club on loan, joining Hartlepool and Chesterfield respectively.

Lynch, who has appeared twice for Sunderland’s first team, completed a month-long switch to Victoria Park and has made two substitute appearances for the League One outfit so far.

Meanwhile Wilson was an unused substitute for the Spireites during their League Two clash with Wycombe last Saturday having sealed his switch to the Proact Stadium last week.

And Ball, who made over 600 appearances in a career spanning more than 20 years, says loan spells form a valuable part of a young player’s learning process.

“From Craig’s point of view, going to Hartlepool will be great experience for him,” Ball said. “It’s his first loan and I know he was very excited about it.

“From our point of view, we can watch his games and we keep in very close contact with players when they’re out on loan.

“Craig wants to play football and when the chance comes I hope he takes it because this is a great opportunity for him to see what I call the real world.

“Ben has gone as back-up to their first-choice keeper, but I’ve said to him that he has to compete for a starting spot.

“He has to be ready should the first choice be unfortunate enough to lose his place.

“I spoke to Ben on Sunday – he’s only been there for four days but he’s really enjoying it.

“It’s really important that as many of our lads get league experience as possible because ultimately they need league games under their belt and on their CV.”