Middlesbrough Head Coach Jonathan Woodgate has announced the club’s captain for the upcoming season in an interview with BBC Tees (via The Northern Echo).
“George [Friend] will be the captain this season” said Woodgate, with the left-back continuing in the role having captained the side last campaign after the departure of former skipper Grant Leadbitter.
Leadbitter had been club captain, but joined boyhood club Sunderland last season, meaning Friend took on the armband permanently, and now he will do the same again.
“George is a fantastic leader, he does everything right, and sets a fine example to the young kids” said the Head Coach.
“It’s not just the likes of George and Clayton you look to in those situations, you can also look at the likes of Aden Flint, Darren Randolph, they have all looked at the young kids and tried to help.”
The senior figures at the club will certainly help the youngsters coming through. Woodgate has promised to give youth a chance, and has said his preference would be to promote youth rather than dipping into the transfer market unnecessarily – which could explain their lack of spending so far.
Although Friend has been given the captaincy this season, the Boro boss has indicated that his place in the side is not guaranteed.
“Paddy Reading and Hayden Coulson are pushing George Friend” he confirmed.
“It’s not a case of, ‘Well he’s going to play’ or ‘He’s going to play’. I’m telling you now, whoever is playing well will play. It’s simple.”