One to Watch #27: Liam Bagnall

Last updated : 30 December 2009 By Dan Buxton


Name: Liam Bagnall 

Date of Birth:  17th May 1992

Position: Right back/Centre back/Right winger/Central Midfielder

Club: Sunderland

Previous Clubs: Glenavon

International appearances: Northern Ireland U16 5(1)

                                                    Northern Ireland U17 12(0)

Highly rated versatile defender/midfielder. He plays right back for Sunderland U18's but is captain for Northern Ireland U17 and plays central midfield for them. He has also played centre back, left back and right wing for either of those two sides.

Started his career at Glenavon and was U16 player of the season before a trial at Sunderland led to him being offered a scholarship at the Academy of Light. He duly snapped it up and went straight into the Black Cats U18 side, as a roaming full back. This was quite an achievement as he was the only regular starter in the side who was a first year and, towards the end of the season, the Black Cats visited Clayton Woods and won 3-0, with Bagnall easily walking away with the Man of the Match as he both defended fantastically, not allowing anything past him, but drove forward at every opportunity and took players on for fun, using pace and close control to leave City defenders for dead in what was one of, if not thee, most impressive individual performance from a visiting academy player all season.

Bagnall also impressed in the Black Cats 4-0 home defeat to Arsenal, in last seasons FA Youth Cup 4th round, winning the Man of the Match award that night.

At the start of this season Bagnall forced his way into the Black Cats reserve side for the first time and he will be hoping that he can force his way into the first team over the coming seasons. If he continues the progress he has made it will surely be a case of when, not if, he makes his mark on the Premier League.