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Roker Roundup: George Honeyman opens up on his struggle with leaving Sunderland

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George Honeyman has opened up on struggling with his Sunderland departure; Michael Reddy has spoken about his time on Wearside in a rare interview; and an ex-academy player has a new club.

Roker Roundup 20/21
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Reddy on his Sunderland spell

Former Sunderland striker Michael Reddy only made 10 appearances for the club after his £30,000 move from Irish side Kilkenny, but he started off so well he had Peter Reid believing that he had unearthed a gem.

After impressive performances against Crystal Palace in the League Cup and Aston Villa in the Premier League, Reddy came off the bench to snatch an equaliser with his first touch at the Riverside against Middlesbrough.

In a rare interview, with Independent.ie, Reddy looks back at that equaliser and finds it embarrassing watching his reaction to that Boro goal:

I only saw the video recently, it’s embarrassing to look at it now, I didn’t know what to do after I’d scored, it looked like I was about to start crying, I think I was in shock.

He also came on in injury time against Manchester United in a 2-2 draw at the Stadium of Light, where before the game he was awestruck by the likes of Roy Keane and Denis Irwin during the warm-ups and was approached by Gary Neville during the game who hoped he was better than the player he replaced, Kevin Kilbane:

I do remember coming on and I was up against Gary Neville, he had a few words with me, he just looked at me and said, ‘I hope you are better than your mate’, meaning the player I had come on for, Kevin Kilbane. He was trying to put me off my game.

Only a few months earlier I was watching ‘Match of the Day’ on TV back home and here I was on the pitch in the Premier League, it was just surreal and I didn’t have time to adjust to it.

Sadly, Reddy had to retire at the age of 26 and has regrets over how his career transpired. Although he is now 40 and just became a father for the first time, Reddy looks back on his career and says he was nowhere near mature enough and wishes he had made better decisions:

Some players look back on their careers and think they are happy with what they got out of it but I’m not, for me it’s frustration.

I got injured at 25, retired at 26 but I should have done better than I did. If I had made better decisions, not stayed so long at Sunderland, gone to a club where I’d have played regularly. Those are my regrets.

I’d love to go back and do it again, make better decisions. But you can’t do that. I was incredibly immature when I went over, I went at 19 but I had the mentality of a 14-year-old. I wasn’t streetwise, I didn’t take my opportunity and that’s my frustration now. But that’s life.

You can read the full interview with Michael Reddy in the Irish Independent by clicking HERE.

Michael Reddy

Honeyman discusses coming to terms with Sunderland exit

George Honeyman has been speaking to The Offside Rule about his time at Hull City and the academy product opened up about how much he struggled after leaving Sunderland.

The former club captain said it took him by surprise just how hard leaving Sunderland hit him, believed he was strong enough mentally to cope but that was not the case and he really struggled after heading to Humberside:

I didn’t ever envisage it, I look back and I’m disappointed with how long it took me to come to terms with it. I thought I was stronger mentally than that, but I guess when you never really think about something and then it happens, it’s hard to adjust.

If I’m being honest with myself I didn’t cope with that situation very well, but that’s gone now and there’s no point in thinking about that because it’s in the past.

Honeyman has now come to terms with the move, has been thriving in League One for the Tigers and says he has no regrets after what he achieved at Sunderland:

To be there for 13 years and end up as club captain, for any boy coming through the academy that’s a dream.

The player scored a penalty in a shoot-out win at the Stadium of Light earlier in the season but says he did not feel anything after scoring against his former club due to the lack of fans, staff and players he knows:

I didn’t really feel anything, to be honest. Normally, you’d pop into the players’ lounge and there’d be the ladies and security staff that have been there for years. There were no fans there and there’s only a couple lads there now that I played with.

South Shields v Sunderland: Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Academy product joins SPL side

Sunderland academy product Nathan Thomas has signed a deal with Scottish Premiership side Hamilton Academical.

Thomas had been a free agent after leaving Sheffield United in the summer and was immediately included in the Accies squad that faced Rangers at Ibrox on Sunday.

Perhaps luckily for Thomas, he was an unused substitute as Rangers ran out 8-0 winners but the winger told the club’s official website what they can expect from him:

I’m direct, I like to score goals and create goals, that’s my biggest attributes. I like to travel with the ball, I’m quite a dynamic player for my position so hopefully if I can replicate what I’ve done in the past I can have a good time here at Hamilton.

Rangers v Hamilton Academical - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group via Getty Images