Charlton Athletic's John Sullivan writes for the KM Group
Over the past couple of seasons, I’ve received plenty of
compliments from coaching staff and my team-mates – but not played
Those sort of things – that I’m a good trainer and good to have
around the dressing room – are great to hear.
As a footballer, you care what the manager says and the staff as
well but it’s what your team-mates say about you that really
matters, especially if they are praising you. But I want people to
say ‘he’s a great goalkeeper’ too.
It’s important to be happy in your work and I love being a
footballer. I know that I’m lucky to have this job. Having said
that, I need to play more and there is going to be a time when I
need to go and play and prove myself.
I’ve never played Championship football and it’s been tough not
to be involved this season. Last year it was great being involved
with the lads as second choice but even then I wanted to be
Mentally, I’ve been OK and you try not to show any frustration,
although I’ve had a couple of private moments when I’ve been a bit
down and questioned what is happening.
So it’s been tough but I’m also realistic and know I’m at a
I think Ben Hamer’s been tremendous and has stepped up to the
plate and we’ve brought in David Button, who is a good keeper. It’s
been hard for him as well, coming in and not playing and then there
is Nick Pope and Dillon Phillips.
Goalkeeping coach Ben Roberts manages the group and keeps
everyone together and that keeps everyone on their toes.
On a matchday, there can only be two keepers – one playing and
one on the bench. Me or Popey will do the warm-up and watch the
In training, though, it helps so much when you have a lot of
keepers. We are always needed with the outfield boys, so it’s good
when you have three or four keepers for that.
It was good to get some game-time on loan at Colchester United
last year but that happiness of playing was tempered because we
didn’t do as well as I would have liked.
The thing I miss the most is the pressure on a Saturday when you
are involved. I do try not to take football home with me but
Saturday afternoons when the team is away is the hardest time.
Whether I’m watching Soccer Saturday or out shopping to try to
keep busy, I’ll always be checking my phone to see how we are