Non-league starlet discuss Sunderland trial
Basingstoke forward Sam Smart joined Sunderland on a fortnight’s trial back in November and impressed playing for the under-23s, which included winning a penalty against Middlesbrough.
Although no contract was forthcoming, Smart said the trial was still unbelievable and revealed that one of the reasons it fell through was that he was not quite first team ready:
I don’t quite know how the trial at Sunderland came about – I think my agent sorted it for me.
At the start of the season, I had a trial at Sheffield Wednesday but nothing came from it.
I was still pretty excited to go to Sunderland, though, and I thought it went pretty well.
I was up there for two weeks. Because the under-23s had a game the day I arrived, I trained with the under-18s for a bit.
Then when the under-23s returned, I worked with them and I felt I was up there with their level. Obviously, I thought I did really well but it didn’t turn out how I wanted it to.
My agent told me I’ve got to keep playing well, keep getting noticed and hopefully something else can happen.
What he told me afterwards was that I was good enough – or even better – to play for the under-23s. But Sunderland are looking to get promoted this season and said I wouldn’t be ready for the first team.
The main thing I took from the experience was the intensity Sunderland trained at compared to what I’m used to.
I’ve never been in an academy before so I’m not really used to it week-in, week-out. The level of intensity is what I want to do – it was unbelievable.
Djilobodji completes French move
Papy Djilobodji has completed his move to Ligue 1 side EA Guingamp on a deal that will keep him at the club until the end of the season and the option for another two years should the league’s bottom club avoid relegation.
The 30-year-old has been unemployed since he was sacked by Sunderland back in September for going AWOL from training and then returning completely out of shape.
OFFICIEL – Papy Djilobodji est Guingampais @Ligue1Conforama— En Avant de Guingamp (@EAGuingamp) December 31, 2018
Après avoir passé avec succès sa visite médicale, le défenseur central sénégalais est désormais officiellement guingampais. https://t.co/ZMf43gOqtb#tousensembleonvalefaire ⚫️ pic.twitter.com/hjMVuGSrNC
Djilobodji joins his fellow sacked ex-Sunderland player Didier Ndong who joined the French club last week and took part in his first training session with his new side yesterday.
Anichebe wanted by Indonesian outfit
Victor Anichebe is still searching for a new club after his dispute with Beijing Enterprises over their alleged match-fixing attempts.
He may not have to look for much longer however, as Indonesia Liga 1 side PSM Makassar are interested in signing the former Sunderland striker ahead of their new season.
The team finished 2nd last season, are hoping to make a title push and hope Anichebe is the player to lead that charge. Although the club wouldn’t confirm their interest, their chairman Munafri Arifuddin cryptically said:
The candidate? I think you already know.