Forward Jack Diamond won’t be returning the Wetherby Road this summer after three successful spells with Simon Weaver’s side.
Diamond, who plays for Championship side Sunderland, has previously enjoyed three loan spells with The Sulphurites, dropping from League One into the National League and then League Two for the experience.
In 2029/20, a season curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic, he signed for Weaver’s team in the National League. He came to life in the season’s final stages, scoring four goals in six matches. The Independent reports that one of those goals, in the play-off final against Notts County, secured the club their first ever Football League spot.
Despite being involved with his parent club the following season, and scoring his first Football League goal against Lincoln City, Diamond returned for a second spell in September 2021. He was a huge success, and despite being recalled, he was released for a third loan spell in the second half of the season. He scored 14 times in 45 matches, with 13 League Two goals, which prompted Weaver to try and get a fourth-loan spell organised.
Sadly, that move has since been rebuffed. “I would say Jack Diamond coming back is unlikely now, but we really did try,” Weaver told the Harrogate Advertiser. In a surprise turn of events, the long-serving boss even confessed to trying to get Diamond permanently. “We had a good go at getting him back here again. We tried signing him on a permanent deal but got knocked back. We’ve tried to bring him back on a loan basis, on any basis we could, to be honest.”
Given that Diamond has been involved in the Sunderland side’s pre-season matches, it could mean a chance in the Championship. The Black Cats were finally promoted back to the second tier at the fourth time of asking last season and have been installed outsiders for an immediate return to the Premier League in the latest Ladbrokes Championship betting odds. Whilst they share similar odds with last season’s beaten play-off side, Huddersfield, few expect them to challenge. That might allow Diamond to prove himself with his parent club, although Weaver suggests the dynamic young forward could be set for a loan move to League One.
“With regard to the loan, they’ve said to us that they want to see the lad tested at League One level now that they have gone up to the Championship. Obviously, it is disappointing because Jack Diamond is a real talent, and he made a big impression during his time here.”
A League One loan move would be the natural step for Diamond, but he featured for Sunderland throughout the 2020/21 season, making 24 League One appearances, after which he penned a new deal. That deal runs until 2024, and was signed under Lee Johnson, the manager who gave him his League One football.
Diamond could well end up on loan in League One, with a side such as Burton Albion a possible destination. He’s already proven himself at that level, and it seems the Black Cats are unwilling to let him leave permanently, which means Harrogate Town fans will not see him for the fourth time.