An interview with Darren Williams

Today I interview one of my favourite players growing up, even though I was very young at the time I remember players such as Kevin Phillips, Niall Quinn and Darren Williams, today I had the pleasure  interviewing Darren on his time at Sunderland and his playing career.

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Darren Williams was born in Middlesbrough and started his career at York City before eventually moving to Sunderland in October 1996.

He played there for 8 years and was part of one of the best Sunderland’s sides of all time under Peter Reid, and he made over 250 appearances for the team scoring 4 goals. After Sunderland he had spells at Cardiff, Hartlipool, Bradford and Whitby Town just to name a few. He also had a go at management  while at Whitby, unfortunately he was sacked after 4 years during the 2015-16 season.

 PD: Do you think you will go back in to management?  

DW: Yeah I believe I will go back into management when the time and right club with ambition like mine come up , I’ve jumped into to many things where you are made false promises but I’ve learned a lot from my time in management and believe it’s harder at part level .

PD: Is there a big difference in terms of how training, individual coaching, player development and diet is with a youth team in comparison to the first team?

DW : No I think the comparison is very similar now as they like everything at a club to be run the same from top to bottom .

PD: Why did you stay at Sunderland for so long? In today’s game, its rare to see players stay at a club for more than 3/4 seasons.DF2T2OwXYAEqz2c

DW: I love the club and fans it’s amazing passion , desire from all , I had chances to move for good money but Peter Reid didn’t want me to go . I felt a big part of the club I was settled and happy with my football , so in my head I wanted to be there .

PD: How did you feel when Mick McCarthy said he wasn’t going to extend your contract?

DW:   I was gutted club were struggling financially and it was a sad time , I didn’t feel like going at all and as was one of the lowest paid at time so hurt even more . But my career was never about money I fell in love with club and was happy to be there.

PD: Who would you say was the best manager to work under in your playing career?

DW: Peter Reid , bobby Saxton , words can’t describe how much they made the club a place everyone wanted to be, amazing 2 blokes with passion , desire and pride and they made me a player with same beliefs .

PD: How did the Whitby Town player/manager role come about?

DW: A few of my mates where there playing so I went to play , and then the manager was let go so the lads requested to the chairman to give me the job . I was taken aback by the request but as I’m ambitious I thought right I can do this , we were rock bottom and 13 points adrift when I took over in the Back end of October. So it took me a month to sort the team out getting in ex players and lads I knew would do a job for me . We went 13 games unbeaten and ended up finishing mid table , I felt the next two seasons we under achieved even though I had no money to buy players we finished 11 and 9th .

PD:What was your favourite season at Sunderland?

DW:My favourite seasons was when we finished 7th twice no one expected it , and with Peter and Bobby building a team on next to nothing and achieving that was fantastic, I took a lot from both of these to management that helped me in my quest to be a manager .

PD: What game was your favourite at Sunderland and why was this?

DW: Sheffield united at home 2nd leg was amazing night for us we were very confident of winning this game , but gotta say with the fans behind us and willing us on made us win . As I’m typing this my hairs on back of my neck have stood up , amazing fans amazing night and fantastic times .

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The Sunderland players were devastated after losing on penalties to Chalton in 1998.

PD: That play off final in 1998, obviously really disappointing but how did Reidy help you as a team get over the result to storm the league the next season?

DW: The play off game was disappointing and we were gutted that we lost , but we were a young side and we learned a lot from this game to take with us . It was Niall Quinn words as we are disappointed lads , but I’m telling you all now we will be better for and and next season we will show it and win league ( never a true word said as we all know the out come ) . Reid and Saxo picked us up and prepared us for what they knew was gonna be a fantastic season .

PD: Where do you think Sunderland will finish this season?

DW: I believe after first couple of games we have a great chance this season , I think Grayson has slowly brought belief and togetherness back to the side which has been missing for a long time .

 

After the interview I got this message from Darren.

Thank you for the interview it’s really lovely to know I’m still thought of , and hopefully one day I will be a part of this amazing club again . Thank you

What a lovely message . It meant a lot to me the fact he took his time out to answer the questions for the blog. I too hope you’re part of this football club again soon Darren. Wish you all the best in your managerial career.

 

 

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