Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

David 'Can Build Great Career at Riverside'

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

David 'Can Build Great Career at Riverside'

Article excerpt

Byline: By ERIC PAYLOR

DOUBLE trophy winner David Wheater was challenged today to make the Boro centre-half spot his own - for the next 15 years.

Wheater's remarkable 18-month success story led to him carrying off both the North-east football writers' player of the year and young player of the year trophies this week.

Now Boro coach Colin Cooper insists that Wheater should build on his initial success and develop a great career for himself.

Cooper said: "David Wheater has been fantastic for us since he broke into the team. He's a brilliant lad and I love him to bits.

"When I read the other day that he prefers fish and chips to posh restaurants I was delighted, because it showed that he still has his feet firmly on the ground.

"Too many young players get carried away with the Premier League bubble, but David is not like that.

"He's a terrific, down to earth lad with a terrific family around him.

"I'm sure that he will continue to work hard with his football education and get better and better.

"He still wants to improve, and that's a great thing to see.

"I have said it many times: there is no reason why David can't be a stalwart for this football club for the next 15 years.

"And he can play for England on a regular basis. He is good enough. He has all the qualities. it's all down to him."

Wheater has another key role at Hull City on Saturday, especially if skipper Emanuel Pogatetz fails a fitness test on his injured shoulder.

And Cooper believes that Boro will go to the KC Stadium full of confidence.

He said: "We will go there to enjoy the experience.

"It will be nice to meet up with some of the club's old boys like George Boateng, Dean Windass and Nicky Barmby.

"George was brilliant for this football club and he will be relishing the prospect of playing against us.

"Deano has been great for football and for himself. He deserves a pat on the back for still going strong at this stage of his career.

"I wasn't here when Nicky was at Middlesbrough. He didn't always hit the heights here but he is another who has had a great career. …

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