Sunderland youngster, George Honeyman has said he is determined to make the step up to the first-team.
Making the step up
The young gun was a star for the club's under-21 side last season, with his performances earning him a three-month loan at local club Gateshead.
He is no stranger to the first team at the Stadium of Light, having been part of several matchday squads, and made his senior debut in the 2-2 draw with Watford.
Honeyman has traveled with the squad to their pre-season training camp in Austria, and Honeyman believes that it has been a good experience for him.
He told safc.com "it’s been really good so far" as "I feel I came back in good shape and I think that helped me get started" and he could "hit the ground running when pre-season got underway."
Honeyman continued: “I’m already feeling the benefits of the schedule that the coaches have put together, and that’s how you want a pre-season to be.”
He concluded by saying "it’s my first pre-season trip with the senior players" and that he wants to "make the most of it and take all of it in and make that step up".
Honeyman admitted he has learned "so much from just watching them and training alongside them, it’s a great experience".
Perfect place to progress
Honeyman will be looking to follow in the footsteps of fellow youngster Duncan Watmore, who had breakthrough season last year, and Watmore believes Sunderland is the best place for him to progress.
He said that he "really enjoyed last season, especially the way we stayed up at the end" but is "hoping to build on that this year and I won’t get carried away" because "I have a lot of work to do on my game".
Watmore concluded: “One thing I do have is the right coaches, the right facilities and the right players to learn from." As far as he is concerned, he is "going to keep pushing myself to see what I can achieve and become a better player".
Sunderland will take on Hartlepool United at Victoria Park on Wednesday, July 20 with kick-off at 7:30pm BST.