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Ross Wallace
Ross wallace.jpg
Personal information
Date of birth 23 May 1985 (1985-05-23) (age 24)
Place of birth Dundee, Scotland
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Playing position Left back, left winger
Club information
Current club Preston North End
Number 25
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2006 Celtic 37 (1)
2006–2009 Sunderland 53 (8)
2008–2009 Preston North End (loan) 23 (3)
2009– Preston North End 49 (8)
National team
2007 Scotland B 1 (0)
2009– Scotland 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:50, 03 February 2010 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

Ross Wallace (born 23 May 1985) is a Scottish footballer who plays for Preston North End as a winger.

Contents

Club career

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Celtic

Wallace was born in Dundee, Scotland and started his career with Celtic where he played as a left midfielder but under his former manager Gordon Strachan he played at left back for the reserves and eventually the first team. He scored his first goal for Celtic in a 5-0 win over Dunfermline Athletic on 8 November 2003.[1]

Towards the end of the 2005–06 season, new signing Mark Wilson replaced him at left back even though it is not his natural position. Wallace did, however, play the whole of the Scottish League Cup Final at left back because Wilson was cup tied after having played in the competition for Dundee United. Alan Thompson once said that Wallace was likely to succeed him in the future at left midfield, netting a hat-trick in that position in an 8-1 League Cup rout of Falkirk in the 2004-2005 season.[2] It was during his time at Celtic that the 'Ross Wallace fan club' was created my another man called Ross Wallace, this time from Blackpool. The club has over 5000 members with 3000 active forum users.

Sunderland

He joined Sunderland from Celtic on 31 August 2006 along with teammate Stanislav Varga.[3] He made his first team début on 9 September against Derby County and scored the winner in a 2-1 win. His arrival on Wearside saw him keep the number 33 that he wore at Celtic, which had previously belonged to former Sunderland favourite Julio Arca (now with Middlesbrough).

He had made an excellent start as a Sunderland player with a match-winning goal on his début at Derby and again at Hull City. On both occasions he removed his shirt after scoring, which at Hull earned him a second yellow card and his second red card of the season. He later apologised and promised not to do it again.

Sunderland fans were more than pleased with the promising form Wallace showed throughout the 2006–07 campaign as Sunderland won the Championship. His early formed did tail towards the back of the season only for him to re-find his form as the season ended. The left-wing position had been highly contested between Ross and team-mate Tobias Hysén.

Wallace started the season as Sunderland's first choice left-back despite several new defenders joining the club during the pre-season. On 11 August 2007 Ross lined up against Tottenham Hotspur on the first game of the season and successfully provided the 93rd minute assist that enabled Michael Chopra to score and Sunderland to win the game. This form has continued into the second game away to Birmingham City when once again Ross played an integral part in the decisive goal when he provided the free kick that eventually led to Stern John's late equaliser. The match finished 2–2.

He scored his first goal of the season against Reading at the Stadium of Light in a 2-1 victory for Sunderland, scoring again on a 3–2 loss to Arsenal scoring the first ever goal for Sunderland at their first ever game at the Emirates Stadium. Despite his impressive season so far, Roy Keane stated he would consider offers for Wallace. On 18 January 2008 it was reported that Wallace had sustained an Anterior Cruciate Ligament knee injury and would therefore miss the rest of the 2007–08 football season.

Preston North End

In the 2008 summer transfer market it was announced that Wallace had rejected an offer from Preston North End so that he could fight for his place in the Sunderland squad. But due to the summer signings of Sunderland, Keane has told Wallace that he is even further down the pecking order and unlikely to get many games next season. Wallace signed a year long loan at Preston with a view to a permanent deal at the end of the season. Wallace soon became a fan favourite, due the number of times he has provided excellent crosses, mainly to Jon Parkin. Wallace signed a permanent four-and-a-half year contract with Preston on 12 January 2009.[4] Ever since that permanent deal Wallace has played a vital part in Preston's promotion campaign.[citation needed] Since joining Preston, former Portugal International Luis Figo has declared that his performances for the club have vaulted him into the top 5 footballers of all time, with many pundits comparing his abilities to that of Diego Maradona in his prime. It is suspected that the retirement of the great Paolo Maldini was attributed to the rise of Wallace, after the Italian publicly stated that "If I had to go to Deepdale and face him now, I'd probably sh*t myself."

International aspirations

On 13 August 2007, two Sunderland players were called into the Scotland national team: defender Russell Anderson and goalkeeper Craig Gordon. Although pleased with the two nominated players, many Sunderland fans expressed disappointment in the fact that Wallace had once again been overlooked for the squad, especially as he had started the new season so well and that Scotland manager Alex McLeish had selected four goalkeepers in his squad.[5] Wallace was called up to the Scotland squad to play Japan in October 2009.

Honours

References

  1. ^ "Celtic awake to sink Pars". BBC. 8 November 2003. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_prem/3250317.stm. Retrieved 17 January 2010. 
  2. ^ "Celtic 8-1 Falkirk". BBC. 21 September 2004. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_div_1/3673598.stm. Retrieved 17 January 2010. 
  3. ^ Keane Signs Celtic Pair, Sunderland A.F.C., 31 September 2006
  4. ^ "Wallace completes Preston switch". BBC Sport. 12 January 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/p/preston/7825000.stm. Retrieved 12 January 2009. 
  5. ^ Wallace tipped for Scotland, Sunderland A.F.C., 18 September 2007

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