Jordan Pickford has opened up on his childhood dream of playing for Sunderland - and admitted that he would have loved to play more for the club.
Pickford, a product of Sunderland's youth system, broke into the Black Cats' first team in 2016 following a number of successful loan spells.
That breakthrough was the fulfilment of a childhood dream for the goalkeeper whose sole aim growing up to play for the Black Cats.
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And Pickford, now of Everton, has admitted that he would have loved to play more games for his childhood club before making the switch to Merseyside.
The Washington-born stopper has been one of England's stand-out performers in this summer's World Cup with a string of fine saves helping the Three Lions past Sweden and into the semi-finals of the competition.
Indeed, his heroics have helped Sunderland seal a six-figure payout from FIFA - a welcome boost to the budget.
Lending such a helping hand to his former club will no doubt please lifelong Sunderland fan Pickford.
And the keeper has opened up on his pride at making his Sunderland debut which he admitted was a 'dream'.
Speaking to thefa.com, Pickford said: "I’d been with the club since I was eight and been a Sunderland fan my whole life, so it was just a dream to play for the club.
"That’s all I wanted to do, growing up. I made my debut away to Arsenal in the FA Cup and I made my Premier League debut away to Spurs, but I just wanted to make my home debut really.
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"That was the big one, walking out at the Stadium of Light and that came against Everton the following season. It didn’t end up well though, as we got beat 3-0.
Pickford moved on from the Stadium of Light in 2017 as he sealed a big-money switch to Everton.
But while the keeper has no regrets, he has confessed that would have loved to play more games for his boyhood club.
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"I only played 30-odd games for Sunderland in the end, because I had a couple of injuries and some time on the bench but it was one of the best things I’ve done," he said.
"You only get one chance in life to do things and every chance you get, you have to take it and I just wanted to grab that chance with both hands and do my best.
"I would have loved to play more, but I got my chance and thankfully I took it."