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Matthew Bates predicts bright future for defender as Hartlepool loan exit confirmed

Aaron Cunningham
Aaron Cunningham

Hartlepool United boss Matthew Bates is predicting a bright future for Aaron Cunningham as the defender heads to Blyth Spartans on loan.

The youngster's temporary switch was today confirmed by the club, with the versatile 20-year-old unlikely to get into Bates' first-team, with competition for places high.

But just because he is not in Bates' thoughts for the first half of the National League season, does not mean the end for Cunningham.

In fact, Bates thinks the academy graduate has the chance to shine down in the National League North, under the guidance of former Middlesbrough striker Alun Armstrong.

"Aaron has a lot of ability and a real willingness to win," said Bates.

"It will be good for his development to get out and hopefully play some regular football and we will be keeping a close eye on how he gets on with Blyth, which is a really good club."

Cunningham heads to Croft Park having only made his Pools first-team debut last season. It was a short-lived affair, though, as soon after coming off the bench against Torquay United he was red-carded.

He will miss Blyth's first three games of the campaign as a result of his indiscretion.