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Roker Roundup: Former Sunderland midfielder Jamie Lawrence explains why he left Wearside

Former Sunderland midfielder Jamie Lawrence has explained why he left the club on sour terms, whilst elsewhere David Meyler has been discussing the circumstances behind him signing as a youngster.

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Meyler on his Sunderland managers

David Meyler hung up his boots last year at the age of 30, after persistent knee injuries throughout his career finally took their toll.

The former Sunderland midfielder has been speaking with the42 about his playing days and revealed how his move to Sunderland came about.

Meyler had only a handful of senior appearances to his name with Cork City when Sunderland came calling and he explains that he was recommended to the then Sunderland manager Roy Keane by Johnny Fallon, the scout who Keane brought with him to the club:

I’ve heard different things. I believe Johnny Fallon Senior saw me playing a game, happened to do a bit of scouting, spoke to Roy Keane, Roy Keane then sent someone to look at me, something along those lines, and then I was invited over for a trial for Sunderland, I did okay. And then it was just coming to an agreement with Cork City of how much they had to pay for me. I’ve been told that by several different people, so I’d take value from that.

To Meyler, it was surreal suddenly working alongside Keane and he says that he owes so much of his football career to the former Sunderland boss:

It was surreal, I’d grown up in Cork watching this fella play football, thinking: ‘I want to be like him.’ He’s pretty modest in the way he speaks about himself as a player, but he was exceptional in everything he did — his passing, his desire, his work rate, his effort. He could even score goals when he needed to, he was a complete midfielder.

The chance to work with him, I felt he could improve me even if I could take a bit out of him, even from the time I was with Ireland, you’re still picking his brain. What can I get better at? He was very good to me and I owe him a lot for the majority of things I achieved in my career.

Meyler then explained what it was like being on the receiving end of not only Keane’s wrath but Steve Bruce and Martin O’Neill’s too:

Intimidation and fear are different to people. One of the first times I met Roy, we had played in a reserve game against Gateshead. We lost 2-0 and Roy had a pop off the players. I took a bit off him. But I looked at him and I was thinking: this is what I want. He’s being honest with me. There’s no lying. He’s telling me what he expects of me now that I’m a Sunderland player. I relished it.

As I got older and worked under different managers from Steve Bruce to Martin O’Neill at times, you took a bit of a tongue lashing. But a lot of the time, you probably do deserve it — that’s what people forget. Certain players think they’re being picked on, but I always tried to prove them wrong. I looked them in the eye and said: ‘I’ll prove you wrong.’ So I loved it.

It almost felt to me as if they cared. They wanted you to do well and this is what they were trying to make you do better. I never had a problem with it.

Some people can’t handle it. Mind you, I experienced 15 years of my dad giving it to me before I had it off them. So I was well used to it.

You can read the full interview with David Meyler by the42, HERE.

Republic of Ireland v Moldova - FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Lawrence on why his Sunderland career was cut short

Former Sunderland winger Jamie Lawrence has taken to Instagram to explain why his career at the club was cut short.

Lawrence famously started his professional football career by joining Sunderland shortly after being released by prison but only made four appearances for the club before joining Doncaster Rovers and eventually making it to the Premier League with Bradford City.

The now 49-year-old says the sacking of Terry Butcher as Sunderland manager spelled the end of the road for him at Roker Park, with Butcher’s replacement, Mick Buxton, making it clear that the winger’s face did not fit.

Despite the sour end to his career at the club, Lawrence says Sunderland giving him his give break saved his life and that he will always be grateful to both the club and the fans:

I get asked all the time why I don’t mention Sunderland all the time but I just want to clear this up.

I will always be grateful to the club and the fans for giving me my break I needed that saved my life and the fans who took me in their hearts.

My time at Sunderland was short and as soon as Mr Terry Butcher got the sack, that was the end of me.

Mick Buxton and his little sidekick Trevor Hartley took over and they were the worst coaches and man managers ever.

They made it known my face never fitted. Without David Rush and George I don’t know how I would have coped and I might not have had a career.

These two men are still my good friends today and always will be.

Just like to say thank you Sunderland and I will be back to talk about my life soon.


Adams signs new contract

Academy product Blair Adams has signed a new deal with Northern Premier League Premier Division side South Shields.

The 28-year-old joined Shields in 2018 and has signed a two-year deal with the club, with the option for a further year.

The left back told the club’s official website that he was delighted to sign the new contract and believes he has played some of the best football of his career at Mariners Park:

I’m delighted to have signed a new contract.

I’ve made no secret of how much I’ve enjoyed it here since the moment I signed.

I feel so comfortable and valued at this club and I think I’ve played some of my best football of recent years here, which has shown how much I’ve enjoyed it.

We’ve only been in talks about the new contract for a few weeks so it has come around pretty quickly.

I’m happy to have that security behind me and I’m looking forward to the next two or three years.

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