Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate reveals why George Friend will be club captain this season
Middlesbrough head coach Jonathan Woodgate has confirmed George Friend will be the club’s captain this season.
The 31-year-old left-back has been at the club since 2012 and skippered the side last campaign under Tony Pulis.
Friend has missed the start of pre-season due to a hip injury he picked up in April, yet Woodgate is hopeful the defender will return in time for next month’s Championship opener at Luton.
Adam Clayton captained Boro for their pre-season friendly at Hartlepool on Sunday and, during an interview with BBC Tees Sport, Woodgate was asked if that will have any bearing on who will lead the team this year.
“George Friend will be the captain this season,” Woodgate replied. “George is a fantastic leader, every day in training he does everything right.
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“If you ask him to do something he’ll do it right. He’s an example to the younger kids.”
Woodgate is keen to promote the club’s younger players this season but is looking for the right balance between youth and experience, with many of the club’s senior players acting as role models.
“It’s not just Clayts if you look at Aden Flint, George Saville all really bring these young kids with them,” added Woodgate. “It’s all right having all these young kids in your team but you need experience around them to really help them.
“For example when I was at Leeds you had David Batty, Nigel Martyn, David Wetherall, Gary Kelly who really pushed me to get the best out of me.”