This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Sunderland’s real gem of a prospect in Jack Diamond. In the interview, we discussed his early inspirations, progress, his debut, career ambitions and much more.

SB: What were your earliest memories of football that got you hooked on the sport?

JD: Just having fun playing with my friends, whether this was playing in the street or 5-aside. Just wherever I was playing football it was always enjoyable which made it easy for me to continue playing and developing.

SB: Who were your early inspirations or influences for you when playing before Sunderland?

JD: It would be my Dad, he coached me from when I was five starting out up until the age of 13. I would watch a lot of clips of players on YouTube including Messi which is someone I would say I like to emulate when I’m on the pitch.

SB: During the 2016/17 season was it true that after an emphatic brace against Stoke U18s you were invited to train with the first team by David Moyes and if yes how was that feeling training with them for the first time?

JD: Yeah after I got the brace I got invited to train with the first team, it was a big jump for me as I hadn’t been with the U23s at this point so of course, I was nervous, excited as well to be playing with names like (Adnan) Januzaj and (Jermain) Defoe but at the same time you’ve got to got to push that all to one side and just play your game.

SB: After a solid 16/17 season you were promoted to the U23s a year early, did you see this as a chance to test your ability on a physical scale in what is a tougher level and how well did you adapt to the league?

JD: Yeah I had to back myself and be confident in what I know I can do. It was always going to be a physical competition with senior players coming back from injury and loan players being played but I always had to keep breaking through these barriers to prove to not only myself but others around me.

SB: At a time which is vital for your development would you consider a loan move, like fellow teammates Elliot Embleton and Connor Shields, in order to perhaps gain more first team experience or would you rather stay at Sunderland to fight for first-team chances hoping to make the most of them when they come along?

JD: I’m still young and in the early stages of my career, I’ve got a lot of years of developing to go yet but if the offer was right for me then I’d obviously take it into consideration but Sunderland is a good place for me in the path I am taking. I just need to make sure regardless where I am (in regards to development) I have just always got to be moving forward and pushing for more from myself and as long as I’m at a place where I’m moving forwards then I’m happy.

SB: You recently made your 1st team debut in a 3-1 Checkatrade Trophy victory over Carlisle. Can you describe your thoughts and emotions as you entered the game?

JD: So I’d been on the bench in a league game a week prior and was itching to get on but I was an unused sub, the next week I had a good game with the U23s and was told following that there was a good chance I was going to get involved in the game tomorrow against Carlisle. So when the time I was so excited to get going and I knew it was in an eased environment with us being in the lead but at that the same time I saw this as an opportunity so I just had to be bold and play my game.

SB: I’ve played football with you on tennis courts and then seen this progress to you playing for Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, so Jack where do you see yourself in five years?

JD: I’d see myself playing in the Premier League in a top 10/top 5 team along with also representing my country (England), I back myself in my abilities and know I can get there.