Sheffield United young guns Che Adams and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have hailed the influence of fellow striker Billy Sharp as the new skipper prepares to lead his boyhood club into the new season.
Sharp was named as Bramall Lane’s new club captain just hours after Chris Wilder took charge, replacing Nigel Adkins in the home dugout after a disappointing campaign saw them finish 11th in League One.
The former Scunthorpe, Southampton and Leeds striker certainly led by example last season, netting 21 goals, and will have even greater influence on his young teammates now he has the armband.
“Billy is a great guide,” 19-year-old Calvert-Lewin said.
“Just watching him in training, you can learn so much; without him actually saying anything. He’s been and done it, at so many different clubs, scoring so many goals.
“He’s the ideal person to learn from, really, and that’s what I’ll try to do, to improve my own game. Hopefully, I’ll get the chance to play alongside him this season.”
Sharp and Adams was Adkins’ preferred strike partnership for much of the season, and the youngster netted 12 goals in an impressive first season at professional level after joining from non-league Ilkeston FC.
“I would have liked to have scored more, to be honest,” Adams, also 19, said.
“So I hope to go one better this time, as an individual and as a team. I’ve learned a lot in my 18 months since coming here, and Billy’s been great. He’s a great role model on the pitch and off it, too. And now he’s the skipper, I’m sure that will continue.”
Goalkeeper George Long officially put pen-to-paper on a new two-year contract yesterday.