George Honeyman opens up on his Sunderland exit and the Hull City figure who was key

George Honeyman admits leaving Sunderland ‘pulled at the heartstrings’.

Friday, 2nd August 2019, 20:04 pm
George Honeyman admits it 'pulled at the heartstrings to leave Sunderland'

The club captain has left after spending 15 years on Wearside, signing a three-year deal at Hull City.

In an interview with his new club, the 24-year-old said he had not anticipated leaving the club this summer, but ultimately beieves it makes ‘total career sense’.

“Absolutely not [plan to leave this summer],” he said.

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“It’s all happened in the last couple of days. I was in the last year of my contract at Sunderland, nothing really had been said about it and then Hull put a bid in.

“It makes total career sense for me at this time, it’s a strange one because I’ve been at Sunderland my whole life, but I’m looking forward to something new.

“It’s always going to be tough [to leave your hometown club].

“I was captain, it was my boyhood club, it pulled on the heartstrings a bit but I had to do what was best for my career. I had one year left and Hull are playing in a division higher.

“I think it’s the right time,” he added.

“Most of the lads I’m friends with in football talk about when they left the club they grew up at, and they all say that their career went from strength to strength afterwards and hopefully that’s the same with me.

“It’s going to be strange first couple of weeks but that’s normal but I’m excited about getting to know a new place, because I’ve not had that opportunity.”

Honeyman also revealed that the influence of former youth coach Cliff Byrne, now assistant to Grant McCann, was key.

“I played against [McCann’s] Doncaster teams last year and I was always impressed with how they played football,” he said.

“I know Cliff Byrne from his time at Sunderland and I knew how much I enjoyed working with him.

“With his step up to first team football, it’s something I knew might be around the corner because we get on very well and work together very well.

“If the manager has got Cliff on board then it’s a very good set-up.

“Doncaster were very much a high pressure, high energy team and that suits me.”