Robbie The Bobbie waves goodbye to Wade Joyce. Possibly. Maybe he's directing traffic.
The other week we provided a little more background on David Ferguson (read here) following his signing to the development squad. It was a relatively easy task finding out a bit about him what with his former club Darlington being local and our connections to the local press, and we hope you found it informative.
As you might have read (here perhaps) we've added another player from outside the club to the development squad in the shape of Wade Joyce, and we thought we'd try to find out a bit more about him. While we haven't managed to find any local press around Bury to comment, we've done our best to round up as much information as we can, so here goes...
Wade is the son of former Hull city star, Warren Joyce, who currently manages Manchester United's reserve side. It was at the Red Devils where Wade started his footballing education too, however he was released by the club as opposed to being offered a further scholarship.
Undeterred, and not wanting to move too far away from the North West at such a young age, Joyce Junior was taken on as a youth by Tranmere Rovers, and made a few appearances for their youth side before deciding to move even closer to home with Bury for the 2011/12 season.
Joyce is known as a tough-tackling midfielder with a decent range of passing, a kin to a young Steven Gerrard some have said, although given the way Joyce has been around the houses somewhat, we can't go getting expectations to be that he turns into as good a player as the England captain, but there could be a good quality midfielder in there somewhere.
According to some Bury fans who saw Joyce in action, he was a regular at youth and reserve level, and was often seen to be "running things" in midfield for their developmental sides - something which appears to have caught the eye of Sunderland.
In April, and with no new contract on the table for Joyce following financial cutbacks at Bury, he was invited for trial at Sunderland, and started for a very young Sunderland U18 team in a 2-0 win over Middlesborough. Elliot Dickman, who coached that day due to Kevin Ball and Stephen Clemence having other teams to take care of, said of Joyce's performance;
I thought we played really well especially in the first half. We scored two fine goals and trialist Wade Joyce had a promising game.
Promising enough for us to take a chance on him permanently and offering him a full contract, where he'll link up with the development squad for next season, now managed by Ball, although barring a miraculous upturn in fortunes it appears he'll remain there for the entire season what with not making a single appearance in a clubs first team squad to date.
Despite being born in Liverpool, the youngster was called up to the Welsh U19 squad last year for a game against Bulgaria, but was forced to withdraw through injury.
Good luck to him, and here's hoping he makes the grade. You can keep an eye on him too on Twitter @Wadey194