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ROKER ROUNDUP: Glenn Murray talks failed Sunderland move & Tony Coton undergoes heart operation

Head of Recruitment Tony Coton has undergone a successful heart operation; whilst elsewhere Brighton striker Glenn Murray has spoken of the time Sunderland passed on the chance to sign him.

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Behind the scenes of Sartori’s political run

Juan Sartori’s plan to run for President of Uruguay was revealed by Uruguayan site Busqueda last week, with the site claiming he would use the slogan ‘Uruguay for change’.

A website then appeared using that slogan earlier this week, which presents nine prominent Uruguayans and the option to vote for one as a potential candidate. The website describes the nine Uruguayans as:

They have nine experiences of proven success and effective commitment, because they have created wealth, strengthened our national reputation, have the courage to make decisions, want to contribute to the country’s future, and because of their special nature, we know they would be willing to be part of a transforming team.

Busqueda have now gone into more detail about Sartori’s plan, with the site claiming that back on September 21, a former Army officer rang up the National Party wanting to become a member and also wanted to include a friend:

On Friday, September 21, the telephone rang in the old house where the National Party Directory meets. The one who spoke on the other side of the line was the retired colonel and computer engineer Oscar Costa. He said he wanted to join the party and that he was also interested in including another person as an adherent to the targets. ”A friend who lives abroad,” he said. The secretary took note. He wrote down the names and asked for the credit card number, the usual requirement to activate the affiliation process, which has a monthly cost of $160. The friend from abroad was the millionaire Uruguayan businessman Juan Sartori.

Although it took until last month for Sartori to become a member, a plan for the businessman to run for President had been set in motion back in June when the leader of a faction of the National Party had turned up at the National Party headquarters to announce that has faction had decided to compete in the internal elections:

A few months before, in the middle of June, the one that had appeared at the party’s headquarters was Alem García, lawyer and historical leader of Movimiento Nacional de Rocha. Garcia said he intended to nominate his national group to compete in the internal elections. He was required to complete the steps of rigor: have five designated authorities and at least one grouping in each of the 19 departments of Uruguay. The leader completed the procedures and on September 26, just a few days after Sartori was registered as an affiliate of the National Party, the Political Affairs Committee approved the grouping and sent it to the Electoral Court. The papers have not yet returned.

None of those previous movements made the white leaders suspect that a pre-candidacy was being cooked that would cause a stir and would provoke an angry reaction from many of the party’s legislators when on Thursday the 11th they learned of Sartori’s intentions due to the information published on the cover of Busqueda.

The report claims that Costa and Garcia who are behind the National Party candidacy of Sartori, with Costa being the Sunderland shareholder’s ‘right-hand man’ - he was president of Sartori’s Union Agriculture Group (UAG) - and Garcia knowing Sartori through ties with UAG.

Busqueda claim the news of Sartori’s potential candidacy have made them ‘reformulate’ their plan but the idea of the pre-candidacy will continue.

The report also mentions that the ‘Uruguay for change’ website that was launched, which includes such names as former Uruguayan international Diego Forlan was part of Sartori’s strategy.

Although neither Costa or Garcia would comment on the matter “for now”, the publication mentions that a close friend of Satori’s says he was particularly annoyed to see some of the National Party’s leaders speak out against him when “when they know very well that he has brought billions of dollars to the country in investments”.


Premier League striker on missed Sunderland opportunity

Glenn Murray is currently plying his trade in the Premier League with Brighton and Hove Albion and, despite now being 35, he’s still banging in the goals, as the striker has scored five goals in just 8 Premier League appearances this season.

He hasn’t always been at the top of the game however, with former Sunderland striker Chris Brown revealing on the Undr The Cosh podcast last month that Murray had a trial with Sunderland during Mick McCarthy’s time in charge.

More details have now emerged of that unsuccessful trial spell, and speaking ahead of last weekend’s Non-League Day, the Brighton striker spoke to Brighton’s official website about the struggles early in his career and revealed that he spent two months training with Sunderland:

I went and played in America. I spent three seasons over there and played from March until September or October, I then came home and played non-league for Workington Reds from when I landed until March.

On my third season in America, Sunderland came out on a pre-season tour and Mick McCarthy invited me back for a trial. I spent about eight weeks in Sunderland and it never materialised.

Although the move to Sunderland never happened, McCarthy did help the striker on the road to his current success, as Murray explained that the former Republic of Ireland manager offered to help the player find a new club:

Mick asked if I wanted him to call anyone, and I asked him to call Paul Simpson at Carlisle for me. He played with Paul at Barnsley and he said it wasn’t a problem to make the call.

I waited for the call from Carlisle and it didn’t come for about six weeks. So in the meantime I gave up and lost interest in football. I was fed up because I had a taste and then got knocked back again.

I got a random call on a Tuesday night and was asked if I wanted to come and play for Carlisle’s reserves. My first thought was ‘I haven’t trained and haven’t been playing football’.

But I managed to play and get on the scoresheet. I was then invited for a trial with the first team, I trained there for ten weeks but Paul just couldn’t make his mind up.

He said ‘Barrow have been on the phone’ and they had been in the Conference North — Carlisle were in the Conference at the time, so they were only one league above.

He said ‘I can’t make my mind up on you at the minute. I understand you’re using a lot of petrol money and you’re not making any money. I know you’re living with your parents but you need to earn.’

He said ‘Lee Turnbull has been on the phone from Barrow, why don’t you go down there and play on Saturdays but train here during the week’, so I was happy to do that.

I trained every day with Carlisle, keen as mustard, and played for Barrow. I scored ten goals in ten games and gave Paul Simpson no option but to give me a contract.

He gave me a contract until the end of the season. I scored on my debut and got promoted. I then got a new contract and the rest is history.

The ten goals for Barrow were critical. I don’t know if four goals in ten games would have done it for him, I’m not sure if he was looking for a goalscorer or a target man.

Those ten goals in ten games earned me that opportunity to progress. Non-league football was huge for me.

Brighton & Hove Albion v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Coton recovering after surgery

Sunderland’s head of recruitment Tony Coton is recovering at home after undergoing major surgery.

The former goalkeeper had a quintuple heart bypass at Manchester’s BMI Alexander Hospital and took to Twitter last night to thank the surgeon and staff who looked after him during the procedure.

We at Roker Report would like to wish Tony all the best in his recovery.

Tony Coton of Sunderland in action