As the international break is ongoing, a couple of Sunderland players called up by their countries have been speaking while on international duty about their time at Sunderland.
First up, Jewison Bennette was called up by Costa Rica under-23s and spoke to La Nacion about how difficult getting around was when he first moved to England but the winger was keen to praise Luke O’Nien for helping him so much following his move from Herediano:
Honestly, at first it was quite difficult to be in England because I didn’t speak English. It was a challenge, but little by little I began to have a better relationship with my team-mates, thanks to classes with a teacher who helped me communicate with them. I was adapting and that contributed a lot to having a good atmosphere in the team.
The issue of transport was complicated. I was with my dad, who travelled with me, and we didn’t have a car to get around, so we travelled by bus or walked when we missed transportation. There was even a driver who knew me and when he got on the bus he didn’t charge me. It was difficult, but thank God everything became normal and now communication has improved a lot.
A teammate, the captain, realized that I had to travel by bus and, since he lived near my house, he started taking me to training. He helped me communicate and practice English, which benefited me a lot and little by little everything has been improving.
Bennette also discussed featuring so much for the under-21s recently and says playing in the Premier League 2 has been helpful to him:
It is a high-level tournament with Premier League clubs, where the players have contact with the first team. Recently, we faced Manchester United and managed to draw 5-5 in the last minute. We also played against Aston Villa, who have very good players, and that gives us rhythm. We are learning and gaining pace.
While he has not featured much for the first team recently, the 19-year-old says he is working twice as hard so he is ready when he is called upon.
I prepare myself day by day and work professionally. Afterwards, it’s up to the coach whether he chooses me or not, that’s part of him. In any case, I give myself day by day, whether I play or not play. I prepare myself because I have to work twice as hard so when the opportunity comes, do it in the best way.
Nazariy Rusyn is also on duty, as he was called up to the Ukraine squad to replace their injured captain Andrii Yarmolenko.
The 24-year-old talked to Tribuna about settling into life at Sunderland and says so far it is like another planet due to the language differences making it difficult:
I’ll say this – it’s like another planet. It’s hard for me because I don’t know the language - this is the main problem. Communication is very important for football players. It’s difficult, but that’s okay, I’m getting used to it little by little. Now the family will move and it will be easier. I need time, I understand that I’m not in a hurry, I try to listen to the coach, do what he wants and just get used to it.
Asked what he thought about the EFL Championship, Rusyn said it’s high level and is glad he moved to Sunderland:
High level, very good championship, high pace and the players work very well with the ball, all the guys are very technical. This is a great experience for me. I am very glad that I moved to a team where I can play and develop.
The forward then compared the Championship to the Ukrainian Super League:
The pace is much higher, there every team can beat every team. Almost all clubs are equal, only Leicester stands out more or less. The games are very difficult, there are no easy matches.
On the subject of Ruysn, Football agent Andriy Kyrychenko has also been speaking about the player’s move to Sunderland and gave some behind-the-scenes details about the transfer to Football Transfers:
We have good relations with the club, because we previously transferred the Ukrainian forward Timur Tuterov there from “Kolos”. with his agent Vadym Shabli. The negotiation process began. Together with Shabli, we were able to arrange this transfer.
The process dragged on, because the parties could not come to a compromise that would satisfy both clubs. Through negotiations, we managed to agree on everything. Everyone was satisfied. A long time clubs bargained for the player’s value. This was the main hitch.
Kyrychennko believes Rusyn has what it takes to succeed in ‘Misty Albion’, with the player having the potential to move to the Premier League, with or without Sunderland:
He is the type of player who has all the qualities to be successful at Misty Albion. The team coach and club managers like him. He will try to show himself in the Championship, and then life will show. Perhaps it will attract the attention of an EPL club, or the team will go there themselves.