Kimpioka not staying at Swedish club
Benjamin Kimpioka has been training with Swedish side IK Sirius this year, firstly due to the lockdown and then after the expiry of his Sunderland contract.
Despite training with the club regularly, the Swedish under-21 international will not be remaining with Sirius according to the club’s sporting director Ola Andersson.
Andersson told Uppsala Nya Tidning that he has not entered into any discussions with Kimpioka and that the player himself has declared that he wants to continue to play abroad:
We have only promised to stand up and train him. I have not entered into any discussions but he has declared that he wants to go outside Sweden again.
Former goalkeeper talks about Sunderland stint
Michael Ingham never quite made the grade at Sunderland, making only four appearances during a six-year spell at the club, and spent most of his career at the Stadium of Light out on loan.
Speaking to Brendan Crossan of the Irish News, the goalkeeper explained that part of those various loan spells were through a desire to play regular football but Ingham revealed how one former Sunderland manager told him that he would not be considered for the first until he was at least 25-years-old.
Ingham says that after the manager who brought him to the club, Peter Reid, was fired and Howard Wilkinson was brought into replace him and Wilkinson told him that he would be sent out on loan for three years despite the Irishman just signing a four-year-deal:
Reidy got sacked and Howard Wilkinson came in and I’d just signed a four-year deal, and his first signing was Mark Poom, so I’d gone from third choice to fourth choice. I rapped the manager’s door and he said: ‘How old are you?’ I said: ‘I’m 21.’ He said: ‘My goalkeepers need to be 25, 26, so I’m going to send you out on loan for three years.’
I went out on loan to York and then Wilkinson got sacked. Mick McCarthy came in and I was in Belfast at the time. Instead of going to York’s training, I went into Sunderland’s training and I was running around the training ground and Mick pulled me over.
I told him there were a few clubs interested in me and I’d like to go, and he said: ‘You’re going no-where. You’re on the bench next year in the Championship.’
That’s all I needed to hear. I was back being number two. I liked McCarthy. Just a little bit towards the end when there was a young lad called Ben Alnwick coming through the ranks, he was being earmarked as the next big thing.
We got to the FA Cup semi-final and lost to Millwall.
Mick wanted to me to go on loan to Wrexham and didn’t want me sitting on the bench. He needed to get me out to push Ben through.
Despite being at Sunderland for so long, Ingham explained that people assume he must have made a lot of money during his time at the club but he says that his first contract only paid him £350 per week:
My first contract at Sunderland was £350 a week. People say to me: ‘You must’ve made big bucks.’, I never made big money. I just wanted to play football.
No respect to anybody that went back home and played Irish League but I just felt, if I go back, I’ve failed in England and I didn’t want to go back.
You’d arrive at a new club and you’re lying in bed in a B&B and you’re thinking: ‘I’ve got this for a month’, you’ve got a small TV - back then there were no smart TVs - you’re watching BBC1, BBC2, ITV and Channel 4.
You’re sitting there on your own. You go out to the supermarket to get something to eat because you’ve to feed yourself. You’d only get breakfast in your digs...
But I travelled around on loan and made a name for myself and I got contracts in the lower leagues.
My best memories were when I was at York City, and that was the lowest team I played for [Conference Premier].
You can read the entire interview with Ingham with the Irish News HERE.
Celustka finds new club
Ex-Sunderland loanee Ondrej Celustka has found a new club after five years at Turkish Super Lig side Antalyaspor, as he returns to his homeland to sign for Sparta Prague.
The Czech Republic international was a free agent after his contract with Antalyspor expired at the end of June and he has subsequently signed a three-year deal with Sparta.
Celustka made 27 appearances while on loan at Sunderland from Trabzonspor during the 2013-14 season and will join former Black Cat David Moberg Karlsson at the Generali Arena.