open training

Mika relishing opportunity

by Kate Smith

Young striker enjoying chance to shine.

The ever cheery Mikael Mandron is delighted to be part of Paolo Di Canio’s Barclays Asia Trophy squad.

Mandron, a star in last season’s under-21 team, has joined the first team for their trip to Hong Kong and was also included in the party who travelled to Italy earlier this month.

The Frenchman has embraced the opportunity to train alongside the first team and watchful eye of Di Canio and hopes he can make the most of it.

He told  “All the lads have been good to me; it’s been a test for me as it’s a different level and it’s very tough physically with training twice a day, but I’m really enjoying it.

“I hope I’ve done enough to impress the manager, it would be great to be involved more with the first team during the next season.

“I’ve done as much as I can and would really like the chance to keep training with them and hopefully play in some games.”

Mandron has had the chance to train alongside international stars Stephane Sessegnon, Jozy Altidore and more recently Emannuale Giaccherini, something the youngster is savouring.

“There are so many experienced players I can learn from and I’m doing that every day.” Mandron continued.

“The new signings are great too – I’m sure they’re going to bring great things to the team.”

For Mandron his time in Italy and at the Barclays Asia Trophy is a world away from the under-21 team and he has been in awe of the opportunity.

“Hong Kong is great, it’s really hot but once you’re used to it it’s fine.

“It’s nice to be somewhere different and have the chance to experience such a country, Italy was good, but Hong Kong is completely different again.

 “It’s fantastic that so many supporters made the trip all the way from Sunderland to come out here and get behind the team. “