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ROKER ROUNDUP: Ex-Sunderland winger Charis Mavrias lifts lid on turbulent time on Wearside

Former Sunderland winger Charis Mavrias is back in Britain after signing for Hibs - and in an interview with the Scottish press, the Greece international has spoke at length about his disappointing stay on Wearside.

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Loan roundup

Luke Molyneux scored his first goal for Gateshead yesterday as they brushed aside Dunston UTS 4-0 in the final FA Cup Qualifying round.

The clash, which was broadcast by the BBC, was all but over by half-time with the Heed taking a 3-0 lead.

The Sunderland youngster took to the field with half an hour of the second half remaining but managed to notch himself a goal as he cleverly finished from a tight angle to complete the scoring.

You can watch Molyneux’s first goal for Gateshead on the BBC website HERE.

Max Stryjek avoided being cup-tied as he was not involved in Eastleigh’s 1-0 FA Cup Qualifying defeat at home to Hampton and Richmond, as Stewart Donald’s former side were knocked out by a late Chris Dickson goal. Hampton and Richmond’s chairman Richard Wood is a Sunderland fan who had a spell on the club’s board in the early nineties.

Sam Brotherton returned from injury to take a place on the bench for Blyth Spartans in their 1-0 FA Cup Qualifying defeat by York City - more on that later.

Connor Shields started up front for Alloa Athletic in their 1-0 home win over Partick Thistle in the Scottish Championship. The home side won thanks to a Dario Zanatta strike just after the half-time break.

Finally, Lamine Kone was named in the starting line-up as Strasbourg hosted Monaco in what was Thierry Henry’s first game as manager of the principality side. Kone’s side won 2-1 thanks to goals from Adrien Thomasson and Lebo Mothiba, Monaco finished the game with 10 men but did manage to score a consolation goal through Youri Tielemans.


Mavrias on difficult Sunderland spell

Former Sunderland winger Charis Mavrias signed for Scottish Premiership side Hibernian this week, as the Greek international impressed Neil Lennon enough during a trial spell to earn a short-term deal at Easter Road.

Speaking after the move was confirmed, Mavrias said Paulo Di Canio leaving so soon after he had signed him, made the Sunderland move difficult for him:

I was 19 years old and the point for me was to go somewhere and try to play. Paolo Di Canio was the manager who signed me and I played six or seven games straight away. But then the coach changed and I didn’t get my chance any more.

There was Di Canio, Gus Poyet, Sam Allardyce, Dick Advocaat, David Moyes – I don’t know if I’ve missed someone out – I’ve said five already,

It’s difficult, especially in the Premier League. They have a lot of money and in every transfer period they are spending a lot of money. It is hard for players because someone else is coming in and you have to step back a little bit.

The 24-year-old is determined to take his chance with Hibs though and hopes to force the club to give him a longer deal:

It’s a great chance for me. I came here a couple of weeks ago on trial to see how things would go and I am really happy I will play for Hibs.

It is a short contract, but it is a good chance for me. If I do well in training and take my chances in games then it’s in my hands. It’s my target to stay for longer. This is what I have been doing from 16 years of age so I know I can work hard and if they give me my chance I will take it.

Mavrias played with Hibs’ Florian Kamberi - a summer transfer target for Sunderland - at German side Karlsruhe and said the striker only told him good things about the club:

Flo told me good things about the club. I had followed what he was doing and knew he was here and saw how he did well and helped the club.

I left my last team at the end of June and I was looking for a good move. I had some offers from some Greek teams, but I didn’t want to go back to Greece. There are only really four or five teams there now, the level below that is really low. I didn’t want to go back for that reason.

I know I started playing there for Panathinaikos and from there I got the chance to move to Sunderland and that was great.

Now I would like to stay abroad. So I waited a bit and then I got an offer to come to Hibs for a trial. I thought it was my best opportunity to get back to a high level. So I tried to do my best and then they made me an offer.

Sunderland AFC v Udinese - Pre Season Friendly Photo by Richard Sellers/Getty Images

Laing joins Blyth

After being released by Hartlepool United earlier in the week, academy product Louis Laing has joined the growing former Sunderland contingent at Blyth Spartans.

Blyth already have Sam Brotherton on-loan from Sunderland but also have Michael Liddle, Connor Oliver and Jordan Watson amongst their ranks.

Laing was thrown straight into action, as he took a place in the middle of Blyth’s defence in the FA Cup Qualifying clash with York City but they succumbed to a Jordan Burrow goal after only 12 minutes and despite their best efforts will miss out on the First Round draw when it takes place at 7pm on Monday.

York City v Sunderland - Pre Season Friendly Photo by Paul Thomas/Getty Images