Having crossed the Irish Sea to sign for Sunderland in 2009, John Egan was no stranger to our opponents on Saturday, Sunderland. John touched down on Wearside a teenager; five years later he would head south for Gillingham a man. BEES sat down with the Irishman before our game against The Black Cats in October to discuss Brentford’s season, captain’s duties and more.
You began your career with last Saturday's opponents, Sunderland. How do you reflect upon your time in the North East?
I loved it there. I played for the Youth Team, the Reserve Team and for the First Team during a few pre-season friendlies - I got an invaluable footballing education at Sunderland. Kevin Ball was the Youth Team Manager and he gave me a lot of advice that I still call upon today. I met some great friends – people who I’m still in contact with today – so it’s a club I’ll always have a soft spot for.
Who did you look up to as a young professional at The Stadium of Light?
As a 16-year-old centre-half it was great to look at guys such as Wes Brown and John O’Shea – both of whom had both come from Manchester United – in terms of the levels they had reached during their careers. Jordan Henderson was coming through when I first moved over and he’s gone on to captain Liverpool and England so he was a good pro to look up to as well. Being at Sunderland helped me get off the ground; the club helped me develop a lot of positive traits.
You’re into your second season at Brentford; how are you finding life in West London?
I’m really enjoying it. The lads are a great crack; we’re a tight changing room – a young squad –and everyone can see that we play as a team on the pitch. We play football the way it should be played and we’ve grown as a Club since this time last year. We’ve got some great players here so hopefully we can keep on improving and get the results we deserve.
How much confidence does it give you and the rest of the backline knowing you’ve got a keeper of Dan’s ability behind you?
It gives us a massive confidence. He’s pulled off a few world-class saves during his time at the Club and you always know that if the opposition work an opening there’s still a good chance that Bents will save it. It’s good to have someone like that behind you and he played a stormer last Saturday to be fair to him.
You’ve been made captain whenever you’ve appeared this season. How much responsibility comes with the armband?
It’s a massive honour to captain this group of lads. My game doesn’t change – you’re given the captaincy for a reason so I do what I always do and try and drive on the lads and set a good example.
You’re stuck on a desert island; which Brentford team-mate would you want by your side?
Lewis Macleod for the banter.
On a scale of 1-10 how cool are you? Seven
Last song that you listened to? Questions, Chris Brown
If you weren’t a footballer what would you be? Probably working back home, playing Gaelic Football or Hurling.
Describe yourself in three words...Honest, friendly, driven
Best 5-a-side team of players you’ve lined up alongside? Jordan Pickford; Robbie Brady, Wes Brown; Jeff Hendrick; Romaine Sawyers
Favourite film? Michael Collins
If you could swap lives with anyone for the day who would it be? Vincent Chase from Entourage