Honeyman looking to push on

by Ashley Houghton

Youngster relishing first year as a pro.

Sunderland AFC under-21 midfielder George Honeyman says his sole aim for the 2013-14 campaign is to follow in the footsteps of team-mates Mikael Mandron, Billy Knott and Adam Mitchell in making their Black Cats first-team debuts.

Honeyman, who scored seven goals in 24 youth and reserve games last season, says the progress his colleagues made last season is the inspiration for him as he prepares for his first year as a professional at the Stadium of Light.

“It’s great to see Mika, Billy and Adam break through to the first team,” the Prudoe-born youngster said.

“Liam Marrs and Jordan Laidler were also involved in the squad and that’s great because it shows there is purpose to what we are trying to do.

“My aim is to get in and around the first-team squad; when you see Mika and the others in the squad it’s good on one hand because it makes you feel proud but also a bit jealous because that’s what you want.”

The ball-playing midfielder was a shining light for the under-18 side in their run to the Barclays U18 Premier League semi-finals, making 20 appearances and scoring six goals.

And Honeyman feels that, had it not been for a hernia injury midway through the campaign, he would have appeared more than the four times he did for Kevin Ball’s development squad.

“I was pleased with how certain aspects went,” Honeyman added.

“I was disappointed to have to have a hernia operation half-way through the season as it couldn’t really have come at a worse time.

“Again, when you see the lads pushing on to the first team, you’re a bit envious, especially when you’re injured; you think that could be you.”