Sammut discusses his Sunderland departure
Ruben Sammut was recently released from Sunderland and the development squad midfielder was kind enough to join us on the Roker Rapport podcast to talk about his time at the club.
Discussing his departure, Sammut explained that he was expecting to be released but that the confirmation of it was still difficult to take.
However the 22-year-old is excited to now try and find a new club, one where he can get the much needed first team football that he needs at this stage of his career:
I was half expecting it. I mean, obviously very gutted but I think the age I was getting to, and for me, I needed to be playing first team football somewhere.
I think having a year at the academy and trying to break through into the first team and obviously the manager Phil Parkinson wouldn’t be able to guarantee me that next year. So I think for both parties, the best decision was for me to try and pursue a career elsewhere and get first team football.
I kind of expected in that front but obviously it was bad news to take and it’s never easy to take because it’s a bit of rejection but straight away I just wanted to be proactive, as soon as I found out the news and it’s an exciting time as well because I’m going to end up somewhere different, it’s a new start really, isn’t it?
So I guess you’ve got to take the positives out of that and take the experiences I’ve had at Sunderland.
A-League star talks Sunderland experience
Western Sydney Wanderers centre back Matthew Jurman has had a long career in the A-League and is a full Australian international but as a 16-year-old he had a week-long trial with Sunderland that made a big impression on the now 30-year-old.
Speaking to FTBL, Jurman could not speak highly enough of his short time at the Academy of Light.
Jurman revealed how well he was looked after during his trial and how he was taken aback by the facilities at the Academy of Light, as well as the atmosphere at the Stadium of Light:
I’d been in Scotland trialling but after they said they wanted me back in pre-season. So I got a trial at Middlesbrough.
Then I got a chance to trial with Sunderland. I was at Sunderland for a week. The facilities at the training centre in Sunderland were absolutely unbelievable.
While I was there I watched one of Sunderland’s Cup games at the Stadium of Light. Honestly, it was incredible.
I stayed near the water in Roker I think, and they really looked after me. It was a nice place.
I have good memories. Seeing all the training facilities. Everything was really professional. I met Roy Keane but I was a bit intimidated by someone like him.
I was excited to meet him but I mainly worked with Sunderland’s youth coaches.
And while I was training at Sunderland, they had another young player called Jordan Henderson.
I’m a Liverpool fan and now he’s their captain, so that was pretty amazing and I recall the striker Martyn Waghorn was there, too.
He also talked about the Netflix series Sunderland ‘Til I Die and how much the team obviously means to the fans of the club:
The fans not even at the games but just in general when you walk around Sunderland.
It’s all they talk about around town, If the team’s not doing well the entire town - the entire town - is suffering.
I can imagine how hard it must have been in recent years for those Sunderland fans.
Seeing what’s happened to the club and the team.
I did watch the Netflix documentary Sunderland Till I Die, and for anyone who doesn’t know much about Sunderland and football, it’s the best thing to watch.
You get to see the highs and lows behind the scenes of this incredible club, Sunderland.
His fellow Socceroo Bailey Wright was on loan at Sunderland during the 2019-20 season and has been linked with a return to the club ahead of next season and Jurman, who has a British passport, still has the dream of playing in England. With the possibility of playing for Sunderland described as a ‘mad experience’:
It’d be a mad experience to play at a club like Sunderland.
You don’t quite know where you’ll be with the way the world is now, but that’s also quite exciting.
Marangoni on what he learned in Sunderland
One of Sunderland’s first foreign signings, Claudio Marangoni, only had a short spell at Roker Park before returning to Argentina after failing to settle in England.
Despite only playing for Sunderland for one year between 1979 and 1980, Marangoni told Club 947 FM that his time at the club taught him the discipline that he maybe lacked when he arrived in the country:
My time in England helped me a lot for life. I came to training last and they were all practicing separately in the gym. For everything you have to be patient, please ask.
They taught me punctuality. When I arrived in the country, I believed that I had many rights and few obligations.