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ROKER ROUNDUP: Ex-Sunderland defender says he never heard from Mackems ahead of summer move

Nedum Onuoha has been asked about supposed interest in him from Sunderland during the summer, but has conceded that he never had any solid contact from his old club.

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Onuoha never heard of Sunderland interest

Nedhum Onuoha recently gave an interview to BBC Radio Manchester in which he confirmed that he is in the process of joining MLS side Real Salt Lake.

During the interview he was asked about the rumours regarding interest in him from Sunderland but the defender says he never actually heard anything concrete from the club:

The Sunderland one, I never really heard anything about that, apart from people telling me they were interested.

I spoke to a few managers quite locally to here — I wouldn’t want to necessarily say anything, I don’t know if it’s all top secret and what have you, but it was all quite close.

He did say that there was interest in him from Championship clubs and he held discussions with one manager in the Premier League but didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to head to America:

They were Championship clubs, yeah. I had a few discussions with maybe one manager in the Premiership, but it didn’t quite feel right. I just thought maybe this is the moment and the opportunity.

I didn’t want to retire and think to myself, “I wish I would have done this. I wish I would have done that”. When the opportunity came to go over there, I thought, yeah.

The 31-year-old also discussed his move to the MLS and what impact that will have on his daughter’s accent:

I’ve been over to Salt Lake City. It’s different, but it’s also very grand, and it’s beautiful. It’s a beautiful place and the people are really nice. It kind of reminds me of Manchester but with mountains. Eventually, I’ll finish back up north and we’ll be living here, my daughter and my son will be going to school over there.

But the funniest thing about it is that my eldest daughter now, she’s got a bit of a Surrey accent, you could say. Worse still, when we come back, she’ll have a Surrey accent mixed with an American one. My other two kids will have American accents as well, but then will be going to school in Manchester, so you could imagine that’s going to be quite tasty for them.

Sunderland v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Players busy off the pitch

Sunderland players have been preparing for the weekend’s game against Burton Albion but as well as training, they have been helping out around the club as well.

Tom Flanagan and Jack Baldwin both turned up at the Beacon of Light yesterday to help out with the Foundation of Light’s ‘Every Player Counts’ disability scheme:

Then as volunteers rocked up at the Stadium of Light to help replace the faded pink seats, most of the squad gave a hand too and even club chairman Stewart Donald had his turn giving the stadium a face-lift:


Chimbonda gets new role

Another former Sunderland right-back has a new role as Pascal Chimbonda has joined AFC Killingworth as a player but will also help in a coaching capacity in the club’s new academy when it opens in January.

Chimbonda had recently turned out for Washington FC and appeared for Blyth Spartans in pre-season but is now on the books of Killingworth who play in the 11th tier of English football.

Killingworth’s manager Dean Nicholson told the nonleaguedaily that he was delighted to see the veteran join up:

The ambition of the club is to get into the Northern League at least in the next 12 to 24 months and Pascal is going to play a massive part in that as far as on and off the pitch is concerned.

He still has a focus on his fitness, he goes running everyday – as far as that and his age it’s not a concern at all for me. I know Pascal is keen to play a big role with us, including a lot of coaching in the local community.

What comes with the coaching is that we get him on a Saturday as well – so that is brilliant for us

Sunderland v Bolton Wanderers - Premier League Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images