Changing it up: Moyes opens Sunderland training to media

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

At least one Premier League team is getting a taste of good ol’ American media days.

David Moyes‘ pushed open the doors at Sunderland this week, allowing media unusual access to normally closed training sessions in the run-up to Saturday’s match-up between the struggling Black Cats and Stoke City.

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The Guardian says Moyes regularly held open practices when he led Real Sociedad, and Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe has had experience with the phenomenon as a Toronto FC player.

“It made a difference, in a good way,” Defoe said. “It was good for the young lads, having people watch lifts players. They do it all the time in Canada and America, in MLS. When I played for Toronto, reporters talk to you in the changing room. You step out of the shower and there’s a couple of women there.”

It’s admittedly odd to read for those of us based in North America, where open locker rooms and monitored practices are nothing too unusual in several sports.

Defoe also issued a thumbs-up to Sunderland, saying his time in North America taught him that Northeast England’s weather wasn’t too bad.

“But that was before Toronto,” he says. “Until then I thought it was too cold ‘up north’. Then I went to Canada. The cold there. Wow. After that, Sunderland’s tropical.”

Like Landon Donovan’s criticism of English water breaks a few years ago, Americans have always had a different take on “extreme” weather than our friends across the pond. That’s a small lesson Defoe took away from MLS.

And as someone who lives less than two hours from Toronto, we’re happy to report that for most of the year, the cold talk is a bit overblown, too.