Grateful star staying grounded.
David Meyler says he’s “living the dream” after making his first international appearance for the Republic of Ireland.
Meyler made his debut for his country last week after battling his way back from two serious knee injuries.
He spent more than a year on the sidelines but kept his head down to regain full fitness before forcing his way back onto the international scene.
Meyler’s first appearance for the Republic crowned a remarkable turnaround in fortunes – but the midfielder is keeping his feet firmly on the ground.
Growing up all I ever wanted to do was play football, and I have the chance to do that every day. I can’t complain
- David Meyler
He reminds himself constantly of the attitude taken by former team-mate Nick Colgan, who used to begin every day by reminding his colleagues how lucky they were.
Gratitude is a guiding principle for Meyler, who is now amongst Sunderland’s longest-serving senior players having joined the club in summer 2008.
“I treat people how I’d like to be treated,” he said. “Nick used to come in every day and say ‘we’re living the dream’. That’s what we’re doing.
“Growing up all I ever wanted to do was play football, and I have the chance to do that every day. I can’t complain.
“I’ve had two major setbacks with my knees, but they are minor things in the long run. I come in, work hard every day and enjoy it – I’m still living that dream.”
Meyler had originally been called into the Republic’s senior squad just before his injury and was monitored by Giovanni Trapattoni after returning to action last season.
“It’s been a long time coming, and with the hard work I’ve put in it was nice to get something at the end of it,” he added. “Playing for Ireland is a dream come true for me.
“My mother and father have given me so such support, as has my sister. They have been fantastic.
“The staff at Sunderland have been brilliant and so have the fans. I would meet people in the street and they would say ‘we can’t wait to see you back’. Little things like that help so much.
“I was delighted to be picked – I’m a proud Irishman and my whole family were there to see me play.
“It was nice to get 90 minutes too after playing about an hour against Swansea and half an hour each against Arsenal and Morecambe.
“I already knew a few of the lads to say hello to, and with the three other Sunderland players there too it was very easy to feel part of the group.”