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Young Guns: Michael Ledger

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Consett-born youngster in the spotlight

Sunderland under-18 defender Michael Ledger has played for the club he supported as a boy since the age of eight.

Born in Consett, the right-back is highly thought of at the Academy of Light after progressing through schoolboy football to make his debut for the under-18 side a season early in 2012-13/

And Ledger, who made 16 appearances for the under-18 side that were knocked out in the semi-finals of the Barclays U18 Premier League last season, feels his experience will prove key to his development this coming campaign.

“Last season gave me experience, the game is quicker when you step up so I got used to that last year and I hope to kick on this year,” the 17-year-old said.

“We all worked hard for each other – I thought my performances were good towards the end of the season.

“I want to continue playing for the under-18’s side this and maybe start to kick on towards the under-21’s side but just maintain myself in the under-18 side first and foremost.”

The full-back, who has also featured at centre back, has enjoyed a good start to pre-season with the under-18’s as the young Black Cats defeated both Gateshead and Airdrie.

And he hopes to continue his hard work and progress ahead of this weekend’s tour to Scotland where the under-18’s will take on Rangers and Hibernian.

“Right back is probably my main position as I’ve played their more but it’s good that you can fill in in different positions when needed,” he added.

“Pre-season has been hard work, lots of fitness work mixed in with ball work and technical side but it’s going well.

“It’s our third week back and we’re off to play Rangers and Hibs next week which will be a good test.”