Date: 1st July 2007 at 10:13am
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Another delve into the Plymouth Vital Question and Answer archive finds this interview with former Plymouth Argyle midfielder Wayne O’Sullivan.

Wayne O’Sullivan joined Argyle from Cardiff City in 1999 and quickly established himself as a firm favourite with the Home Park fans.

Wayne was equally happy at right back or in midfield with his strong running becoming a feature of his play.

Wayne won the Argyle Player of the Season award in 2001 and then left Argyle to start a new life in Australia playing for Parramatta Power, Northern Spirit, Sydney Olympic and Central Coast Mariners in the Hyundai A-League.

The latest news regarding Wayne is that he joined Wellington Phoenix as assistant coach in May 2007 after graduating from Sydney University with a masters degree in education, specialising in coaching.

Wayne speaks to Plymouth Vital from Australia.

Q: Plymouth Argyle fans were sad to see you leave the club back in 2001, was the move to Australia a dream come true for you?

WO: It was an exciting adventure but the dream didn’t quite turn out as I expected. There were a few personal problems along the way and the Australian league set up was a bit of a disappointment. But it has all turned out nicely now.

Q: Does life in Australia consist of endless days of sun and barbeques?

WO: Yes! It’s sun all the time, we never have a winter, it’s fantastic!

Q: You played under Paul Sturrock at Argyle, what was he like to work with?

WO: I was only there for a short period under Paul Sturrock. He was very professional and thorough and an impressive coach.
Plymouth wanted me to stay and offered me a new contract but there were financial restraints at the club at that time so I chose a different pathway, a chance to change countries and an opportunity for my own self-development as a person as well as a player.

Q: What are the main differences between football in the UK and football in Australia?

WO: There’s not much difference in the actual games but back in the UK people are more aware of the game. The fans in the UK are very passionate and expect their team to win very game. But it’s changing in Australia now with the media now giving more coverage to football.

Q: What would be the highlight of your playing career so far?

WO: I would probably split it into four categories: My league debut for Swindon Town when I was 18 when Glenn Hoddle was there. Winning the 2nd Division Championship with Swindon under Steve McMahon with 4 or 5 games to go. Making my debut for the Irish under 21’s who I qualified for through my parents and finally my first season with the Central Coast Mariners where we reached the A League Grand Final in front of 43,000 fans which hasn’t been seen before in Australia.

Q: Will you ever return to a UK football club to play?

WO: To return as a player would be unrealistic but maybe as a coach at some point.
I’m 33 now but I want to continue playing or coaching for another 3 or 4 years in Australia with the A League now becoming very popular.
There would not be many playing jobs available in the UK but after playing, who knows?

Q: Argyle fans fondly remember you as a strong running, high energy player, what is your favourite memory from your time at Plymouth?

WO: It would be a bitter/sweet memory. I didn’t play in the final game in my last season at Argyle but I won several player of the year awards after that match, including players player of the season, fans player of the season and the regional awards. Plymouth is such a well-supported club that they have supporter branches around the UK.

Q: Do you still follow the results at Plymouth or keep in contact with the club?

WO: Yeah, for a long time I knew a lot of players at the club although a lot of my friends have now moved on. The last player I was really close to was David Friio who actually rented my house, which I have only just sold.

My connections to Plymouth are still pretty strong. I’m actually going home in a few weeks’ time and plan to meet up with Jon Beswetherwick and Jon Ashton, so there will be a little reminiscing going on.

Q: You played alongside some great Argyle players such as Paul McGregor, Mick Heathcote and Paul Wotton, who would you say was your favourite Argyle player from that time?

WO: Mick Heathcote would be right up there as a leader, one of the best I have played under, always leading by example and was inspirational on and off the pitch.
Paul Wotton went on to have a great career at Argyle.

Q: Finally we wish you well with your career in Australia and hope to see you back in Plymouth one day.

WO: Yeah, you never know. I’m trying to go down the coaching path so I might end up on the touchline at Plymouth and getting stick from the Plymouth fans!
That would be a nice thought, I wouldn’t mind doing that!

Thanks to Wayne for taking part in the interview.