‘A new chapter’ as Southport’s Jack Rodwell looks to kickstart his career

28th August 2018
Jack Rodwell

‘A new chapter’ as Southport’s Jack Rodwell looks to kickstart his career

By Rich Sharpe Rovers Reporter

For someone who has played just three competitive matches in 15 months, there has been plenty written and said about Jack Rodwell during that time.

Hitting the headlines is nothing new to the 27-year-old. He was once heralded as one of the most prodigious talents in the country after making his Everton debut 11 years ago.

His career has halted of late, with a public, and acrimonious departure from Sunderland where he played just 44 times in four years as the Wearside club slipped from Premier League mainstay to League One.

But after agreeing a one-year deal at Rovers, Rodwell, capped by England three times, hopes it is his ability, and not his bank balance, which proves to be the talking point.

For Rovers, it seems something of a free-hit. Signing a player who has twice commanded transfer fees in excess of £10m on a deal which fits well within their wage structure.

For Rodwell, it is a chance to draw a line under what has gone before.

“It’s a new chapter, a great club and I can’t wait to play,” he said at the club’s Brockhall training base.

“I’ve had a good career, played for big clubs, played for England and it’s a new chapter, a fresh challenge which I’m looking forward to.

“I’m still only 27, I feel like it’s gone so quick. But I’m relatively young in the game, time has flown but this is a new chapter and hopefully I have another eight years at least left in me.

“That could only have been the first half of my career and this could be my second half. We don’t know. We’ll see how it goes.”

One national newspaper interview apart, Rodwell has maintained his silence during a time where he has come in for extreme criticism and training away from the first-team group.

In May, then Sunderland boss Chris Coleman said of Rodwell: “I don’t even know where Jack is to be honest,” before clarifying it was in reference to his mental state than geographical.

“When he said that I didn’t really know what he meant,” Rodwell said. “I was with the Under-23s where he put me.

“I was training there, getting on with things and I knew where my place was in the Sunderland squad.

“I was getting my head down and working hard.

“There have been ups and downs but that’s football.

“But I’ve signed here now, this is a great opportunity and it’s onwards and upwards now.”

Rodwell penned a five-year deal with Sunderland in 2014 when moving from Manchester City for a fee in the region of £10m. His troubled spell with the Black Cats ended earlier this summer.

So what has he made of all the talk surrounding him?

“It’s one of those things. All I’m focused about it training and I will be every day, doing my best,” he said, trying to draw a line under what went before.