RHYS Walsh had a late deadline day dash to ensure he got the Sunderland move he was desperate for - and the young winger arrives on Wearside confident he can play his way in to the first team.

Teenage wideman Walsh was recently on trial at Stoke City but it was the Sunderland switch he craved having previously spent time training with the Black Cats.

He got his wish late on deadline day after Sunderland made a last gasp move to secure the signing of the 17-year-old rather than wait until the summer.

"I went to Sunderland last summer on trial and I really enjoyed it. We kept in touch and I knew I wanted to join the club," said the youngster, who joined from Glentoran, signing a two-and-a-half-year deal at the Stadium of Light.

"On deadline day I was able to get a flight over and sign. I was on trial at Stoke City but I always had Sunderland in my mind. Other clubs showed interest but I only wanted to go to one club and they were keen on me.

"It was a big relief that I was able to get it done in the transfer window and I understand how big an opportunity it is for me.

"Things have moved quickly. I didn’t think it was going to happen but there was always contact between the clubs. I got the phone call on the transfer deadline day and we got a flight at 8pm before the window closing at 11pm, so it was last minute stuff."


Walsh will initially link up with Sunderland's Under-21s as he sets about finding his feet in England, but he knows where he wants to end up.

"The plan is to push on to play for the Under-21 side and then progress to the first team," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"I want to improve as much as I can. My career has progressed quickly which is nice.

"I share the same agent as Trai Hume and we have spoken about the move. He is doing really well and hopefully I can follow his example.

"I think I will adapt really well. I have stepped up to the Glentoran first team and I will have a similar belief at Sunderland."