The 18-year-old striker signed a professional contract at Rockliffe on Friday morning. 

Hartlepool-born Cole was on a scholarship with the Black Cats, having joined them from York City as a schoolboy.

He enjoyed a whirlwind 2019/20 season, making his debut for the Republic of Ireland U18s in a friendly against Austria and followed that by making his Sunderland debut in the EFL cup tie win over Grimsby in early October. 

He also clocked up 15 appearances in Sunderland’s U18 side, scoring five goals, and also featured once for their U23s.

Boro’s Head of Academy 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.”