Cattermole backs Sunderland youngsters in South Korea

Lee Cattermole and Billy Knott

Lee Cattermole and Billy Knott

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LEE Cattermole says Sunderland’s youthful squad will reap the benefits of their current trip to South Korea.

The Sunderland skipper is a key figure for the club out in Seoul, with Sunderland’s travelling party short of nine senior members of the squad.

But he says the benefit for the club is that the group of youngsters are getting great experience.

“I’ve been looking forward to the games and to competing – we do have the squad out here to put out a strong team,” he said.

“But we’ve also got a lot of young lads out here who are going to be helped in their careers by making the trip and seeing what it is all about.

“It was interesting watching them getting on the planes and going through all the things you go through as a professional footballer when you’re abroad and representing your club. It’s all a learning curve for a lot of them and that’s a good thing.

“A lot of these lads are at the stage of their careers where they need to be either pushing for the first team or going out on loan and this trip is a great opportunity for them.

“They’ve got the chance to catch the manager’s eye in training, maybe even do well in the games and show they should come into consideration for the first-team squad.”

Sunderland’s players had their first full day of training out here yesterday at the Bucheon Stadium near their hotel complex – a little over an hour’s drive from the Suwon World Cup Stadium where their Peace Cup games are played.

Conditions are hot and humid and the squad concentrated on a light training session before taking part in gym work indoors on the afternoon.

Cattermole told the Echo: “All the training and preparation work is being closely monitored and we’re getting there. The stiffness and the soreness is starting to go out of the bones!

“Now it’s a case of getting that first game or two under our belts and getting pre-season into full swing.”