From Portsmouth's bench to Sunderland's bench - more frustration for ex-Blues keeper and Bradford loanee in long battle for regular football
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Indeed, it is approaching 11 months since the talented former Pompey Academy player has appeared in the Football League for anyone.
Bass, who turns 25 on Saturday, left the Blues in search of regular first-team football after several frustrating seasons on the south coast.
He had appeared destined for League One rivals Exeter, only to instead switch to newly-promoted Sunderland in a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee.
It ended the Fair Oak youngster’s long Pompey association, making 41 outings and featuring in the 2019-20 play-off semi-finals during his time with the club.
However, he appeared just once in League One during Danny Cowley’s reign, with the former head coach preferring loan alternatives, firstly Gavin Bazunu and then Josh Griffiths.
Instead, Bass spent 21 matches on loan at Bradford last season, where, in May 2022, he made his most recent Football League appearance in a 2-0 win over Carlisle.
Now he’s at Sunderland, where rising star Anthony Patterson continues to keep him out of the first-team frame.
Patterson has kept 11 league clean sheets this season and is presently on duty with England under-21s after receiving his maiden international call-up.
In Saturday’s 4-0 win over France Under-21s, Bolton loanee James Trafford featured in goal, with three keepers on the bench – Griffiths, Carl Rushworth and Patterson.
Having appeared for the Black Cats 42 times this season, the impressive 22-year-old has been linked with a summer move to Leicester, who are in the hunt for a goalkeeper after dropping Danny Ward.
Regardless, Bass faces a huge battle for first-team football and instead has largely spent the campaign as back-up from the bench.
His two appearances so far have come in cup competitions, making his debut in August’s 2-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday in the Carabao Cup.
He also started January’s FA Cup third round clash with Shrewsbury, with Patterson on the bench for the 2-1 victory.
However, Sunderland’s first choice was restored for their next two FA Cup fixtures, before eliminated by Fulham in the fifth round.
Bass’ most notable moment to date actually arrived in under-21 action – when he scored a last-gasp equaliser against Newcastle.
In October, the Black Cats were trailing 1-1 in the Premier League 2 Division Two fixture when the goalkeeper went up for a stoppage-time corner.
Bass’ header hit the post, before he bundled in the rebound, albeit afterwards admitting it was with his hand.
Sunderland are presently 11th in the Championship, seven points off the play-offs with eight matches to go – and Patterson a first-team fixture.