Sunderland AFC have revealed their new captain.
Midfielder George Honeyman has taken on the armband, replacing John O’Shea as the Black Cats skipper.
The Academy graduate becomes the first homegrown player to be handed the armband on a permanent basis since Michael Gray over a decade ago.
The 23-year old had led the side out for games during pre-season.
Manager Jack Ross tells Sun FM Sport why he handed him the role:
Since breaking into the first team during the 2016-17 season, Honeyman has been a shining example to those around him and his tireless performances have made him a fan-favourite on Wearside.
Displaying grit, determination and leadership every single time he crosses the white line.
“George’s attitude towards training on a daily basis is absolutely fantastic.
“What he has is an absolute feel for this club because he’s come through the academy, but he’s also suffered, as a lot of people have through the past couple of years, and it bothers him.
“He wants to help take the club forward and there’s no better way for him to do that than by being a successful captain.“He’s a mature and intelligent young man, and his energy levels and application in games will be a major asset for us, so I’m delighted he’s wanted to take on the responsibility.
Jack Ross, Sunderland manager
Honeyman joined the club at the age of 10 and quickly rose through the ranks at the Academy of Light, breaking into the under-18 set-up during the 2010-11 season.
Two years later, he stepped up to under-23 level and quickly forged a reputation as one to watch, with his first-team debut coming in an FA Cup tie against Bradford City in 2015. Last season, the midfielder made more appearances than any other player.
Speaking about his pride in being chosen to lead the Black Cats, Honeyman said:
“When the manager pulled me and told me the news, it was without a doubt the best moment of my career so far.
“I’ve used the word ‘surreal’ a lot since I broke into the first team a couple of years ago, but this really means the world to me and I can’t wait for the season to start on Saturday.”
“I’m incredibly proud, not only for myself but for my family.
“This is just a small repayment for the number of journeys my parents made when I was little, and for all the times we went back and forth to training and games.
“I’ll do everything I can do to make sure we’re celebrating something at the end of the season, as that will be the moment I’ve dreamed of since I came to the club all those years ago.”
🔴⚪ Introducing, our new club captain. pic.twitter.com/2E4KGPERFa
— Sunderland AFC 🔴⚪ (@SunderlandAFC) August 1, 2018