David Stockdale has opened up about his frustrating few months at Birmingham City, although he has insisted that he has no hard feelings towards former Blues boss Garry Monk.
The goalkeeper has endured a difficult few months at St Andrew’s and has not started a league game for the Blues since the final day of the 2017-18 season – after being told by his former manager that he was no longer part of his first-team plans.
The 34-year-old was an important player for the Blues in the 2017-18 season, but was banished to the under-18s by Monk at the end of the campaign.
Birmingham were unable to sell him that summer, meaning he was forced to spend time on loan at three different League One clubs last season – Southend United, Wycombe Wanderers and Coventry City.
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During a recent interview with The Athletic, Stockdale has opened up about his recent experiences at Birmingham and although he insisted that he has no hard feelings towards Monk, he admitted that playing for the under-18s at his age was difficult to take at times.
“He just said I wasn’t in his plans and I could find somewhere else. I said, ‘No worries,’ shook hands.
“I was training with the under-18s, so I’d been cast aside, because he wanted his squad together. As a 33-year-old, training with kids, some who were younger than your own daughter, that can be a bit tough.
“I was like Wonga — a short-term loan specialist. Went to Southend (for two months), Wycombe (six weeks) and Coventry (a month).
“People were asking, ‘Why are you even bothering? You don’t have to. You are still getting paid’. But it’s the love of the game.”
Stockdale has made one appearance for Birmingham this season – the 3-0 defeat at Portsmouth in the Carabao Cup in August – and has been used as backup to Lee Camp in the Championship.
It’s been a frustrating few months for Stockdale, but it’s good that he has no hard feelings towards Monk.
He was excellent for Brighton in the 2016/17 and helped them win automatic promotion, so to be told that he was no longer a part of Monk’s first-team plans must have been very difficult for him to take.
He’s still a good goalkeeper though and he’s got plenty of experience in the Championship. It’ll be very interesting to see if he can force his way into Pep Clotet’s plans this season, as Camp has been criticised quite a bit recently.
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