Sunderland midfielder on first team ambitions and hopes of cup success against Porto

George Honeyman in action against Everton
George Honeyman in action against Everton
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George Honeyman’s focus is on forcing his way into the Sunderland first team between now and the end of the season.

But the attacking midfielder admits he would love to be part of a cup-winning Under-23 side ahead of their Premier League International Cup final later this month.

Elliott Dickman’s Sunderland side host the Portugese giants in the final on Wednesday, May 17 (KO 7pm) at the Stadium of Light.

Honeyman came on a sub in the 1-0 loss to Bournemouth, a defeat which sealed Sunderland’s Premier League fate and will be in manager David Moyes’ thinking ahead of the trip to Hull City this weekend.

“I’d rather play in the first team, of course, but football is about winning trophies and I’ll be happy to be involved if I’m selected,” said Honeyman.

“To be a part of such a big game would be great but we’ll only remember it if we win, so we have to go out there and make sure we do the business.”

Jordan Pickford and Duncan Watmore have graduated from the academy in recent seasons with Honeyman hoping to be the next to break through on a regular basis.

The 22-year-old has made five first team appearances for the Black Cats this season and he knows the next generation have to take the chances when they arise.

“It’s a chance we have to take,” added Honeyman.

“I’ve been very lucky to be part of some really good youth teams at the club and that’s no different this season.

“At the moment I’m the one getting first-team minutes but there’s plenty of other lads who are pushing for a chance to play.

“There’s plenty of talent within the academy and it’ll be up to the lads to show they deserve to be involved.

“Coming second in the Premier League 2 last season showed the excellent work being done at the academy because there’s a lot of local lads in our team, playing against teams who pick up the best players from around the world.

“There’s some real talent in there – both on and off the pitch – and it’s a great set-up.

“The next step is making sure we develop as players and help the first team, and hopefully you’ll see a lot of that in the next few years.”

The Young Black Cats progressed to the Premier League International Cup final with victories over Benfica and PSV Eindhoven.

Tickets are free of charge but supporters must secure them in advance of the day of the game from the Stadium of Light ticket office, online via the club’s official website – www.safc.com - or by calling 0371 911 1973.