Sunderland midfielder George Honeyman delighted to see progress of Academy graduates

George Honeyman has spoken of his pride at the part Sunderland's academy graduates played in the crucial 1-0 win over Hull City last weekend.

Saturday, 27th January 2018, 6:27 am
George Honeyman

Sunderland’s starting XI for the game featured six players aged 23 or under, with four of those having come through the system.

Honeyman says it is a vindication of the club’s investment in the academy.

He said: “I remember those cold Monday nights at Eppleton, It’s all character-building.

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“It makes you proud when there are a lot of young lads from the academy on the pitch at first-team level, and you win games like on Saturday.

“I am really pleased for the club and the academy, that it’s finally paying off.

“It’s a major investment and it’s a major part of the club.”

Manager Chris Coleman said shortly after his arrival that bringing through academy players was of a bigger benefit to buying players in, and Honeyman agrees that it is a massive opportunity for the club.

He said: “I agree.

“The club can see it as a business opportunity as well – look at Southampton and how many players they have brought through and sold on for incredible amounts of money.

“I’m a big fan of our academy, we have got loads of talent in it and there has been lots of talent come through it.

“I know the academy got a lot of stick for a while when there wasn’t any players in the first team, so there will be a lot of people at this club pleased to see us all on the pitch together.

“If that’s the way that club is going to go, I think we will be fine.”