To suggest that James McClean and, indeed, Derry City, are waiting anxiously for the 22-year-old to make his Sunderland debut, would be something of an understatement!
ARTHUR DUFFY reports
Indeed, unknown to many, the Derry winger’s debut - be it as substitute or not - would immediately reap a payment of £10,000 for the Brandywell Club.
In fact, every game the Creggan Heights man finds himself involved in, Derry City would continue to reap additional payments of £10,000 up to a total of £100,000!
The player, however, is unaware of the make-up of the deal which took him to the Stadium of Light and is more concerned with getting his debut under his belt in the Premiership.
“Everything has gone really well for me so far,” said James this week. “Obviously, I’m very anxious to make my debut given that I’ve been on the subs’ bench for the past three matches - against Chelsea, Stoke City and Norwich - but I realise that these things take time and I’m prepared to be patient,” he added.
“My aim is to get into the team and show the manager what I can do. I feel comfortable in the reserve team and I’m really enjoying my football at the moment.
“To have been included in the first team squad is progress, but I will be patient and when my time does come it’s important that I’m ready,” claimed James.
Tomorrow Sunderland host West Brom but James will be hopeful that there won’t be a repeat of the result from the reserve team match which was played on Tuesday.
Sunderland lost the game 3-0 and while James played for the full 90 minutes, he remained hopeful that his first team chance would arrive sooner rather than later.
“I have settled in really well. I’m living in a great apartment in a nice, quiet area of Sunderland overlooking a cricket club, which is probably the only sport I don’t have any interest in,” he laughed.
First team boss, Steve Bruce, has already had a few words with the Creggan man, offering advice and encouragement.
“We’ve chatted on the training ground and he regularly gives me advice on what he believes I should be concentrating on. He talked about things that would improve my overall game and when he believes I’ve done something wrong, he would step in and continue to offer me advice.
“To have been involved on the bench for the last three first team games is progress and, hopefully, my chance will come soon.
“I think we’ll be getting a few days off next weekend due to the international break, so I intend to get back home and I’m looking forward to that,” he concluded.
EA Sports Cup Trophy
The EA Sports Cup Trophy will be available in the 8D Lighting Showroom at Elagh Business Park (opposite the Three Flowers Bar), Coshquin, tomorrow (Saturday) from 10.00 a.m.
Derry City supporters wishing to have their photographs taken with the trophy which was won by the club last weekend in Cork, are welcome to come along.
The trophy will also be available in the Derry City Social Club tomorrow night.