Middlesbrough snap up promising Sunderland striker who has been on their radar for some time

Middlesbrough have snapped up teenage striker Cole Kiernan from North East neighbours Sunderland after the frontman signed his first professional contract at Rockliffe.

Cole Kiernan made his Sunderland debut earlier this season.
Cole Kiernan made his Sunderland debut earlier this season.

Hartlepool-born Kiernan, 18, was a scholar at Sunderland after joining the Black Cats from York City.

This season the youngster has made his debut for the Republic of Ireland Under-18 side and made his senior debut for Sunderland after coming off the bench in an EFL Trophy match against Grimsby.

Kiernan has also made 15 appearances for Sunderland Under-18s this term and featured once for the Black Cats’ under-23 team.

Boro’s academy manager Craig Liddle said: “Cole was a player we wanted to sign a few years ago, and we’re delighted to be able to bring him to the club now.

“We’ve been following his progress and his development at Sunderland, and when the opportunity came about to sign him on a professional contract we were keen to do so.

“Cole joins a number of our other young players who have progressed through our academy in signing pro contracts this summer, and we’re looking forward to working with them all when the new season starts.”

The news comes after five Boro academy graduates, Daniel Dodds, Harry Green, Jack Hannah, Joe Ridley and Jack Robinson, penned professional deals on Teesside.

“The boys have all deserved this opportunity,” said Liddle.

“Signing a professional contract is a big step for a young player, but as we always say, this is where the hard work really starts.”