Sam Brotherton is aiming to make a big impression on Sunderland under-23s’ squad following his decision to swap Stateside for Wearside.
The youngster, who will link up with Elliott Dickman’s under-23s team, is a New Zealand international and has gained six caps at senior level.
Having represented the Wisconsin Badgers at the University of Winscosin in the Big Ten Conference, Brotherton has moved to Wearside for his first taste of English football.
Speaking about his decision to join the Black Cats, the 20-year-old sophomore defender admitted he is relishing the challenge and is keen to prove his worth.
“I’m happy to be here and I’ve enjoyed my first few days,” he said.
“The players are a good bunch of lads and I know Michael Woud from my time in New Zealand so it’s nice to have a familiar face around.
“I’m an aggressive player, a good communicator and a good leader. I like to think I can read the game pretty well and I’m good in the air.
“I need to keep working on my range of passing, decision making and speed of play,” he continued.
“I used to play centre midfield until I was about 16 or 167 then I moved backwards into the defence.
“It’s a high level here and I need to adapt to that. Every player wants to play games and I’ll be doing all I can to earn an opportunity like that.”