Academy product George Honeyman has been announced as Sunderland’s first team captain for the forthcoming League One season.
Lee Cattermole and John O’Shea had been sharing the armband for the better part of the last decade, but with O’Shea joining Reading on a free transfer and the club still hoping to move Cattermole on before the transfer window shuts, the captaincy had become available.
In an interview with to SAFC.com, Honeyman spoke proudly of the decision - and said he’ll do his best to make everyone proud of him:
When the manager pulled me in 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 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.
Despite the arrival of the vastly experienced Glenn Loovens, who had been Sheffield Wednesday’s captain, and Jack Baldwin, who had been skippering Peterborough United, Honeyman was given the nod by Jack Ross and the rest of the Sunderland squad.
The 23-year-old had been given the armband during most of Sunderland’s pre-season fixtures, so being officially unveiled as captain isn’t a surprise, but an academy product being appointed at a relatively young age is certainly a symbol of the fresh start the club have been looking for.