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Tom Adeyemi steps up

Posted: Fri 25 Jul 2014
Author: Andy Walker

Tom Adeyemi

Image by: Press Association

Blues boss Lee Clark has confirmed midfielder Tom Adeyemi as the club's vice-captain.

The 22-year-old ex-Norwich City man has been a key player in the Blues ranks since his arrival last summer.

However, the young midfielder also shows great maturity above his years off-the-field and Adeyemi's professionalism has impressed Clark, who first worked with the player during his time on the Canaries' coaching staff.

The manager has now taken the decision to formally hand the former Bradford City, Oldham Athletic and Brentford loanee the vice-captaincy behind club skipper Paul Robinson ahead of the 2014/15 campaign.

“Tom Adeyemi will be our vice-captain, officially, " announced Clark on the eve of his first-team's third pre-season fixture at Kidderminster Harriers. “I have spoken to the board, Paul Robinson and Tom about it.

“I just think he is future captain/manager/managerial material within his career. He is a very intelligent boy, he is our PFA (Professional Footballers' Association) club representative at such a young age and, usually, when he is fit he is going to play.

“So if anything happens to Paul, Tom will take the armband over.

“He was taken aback when I spoke to him about it on Thursday morning, but delighted also. It’s something you enjoy seeing when you tell a player some good news like that. His reaction was really heartfelt and honest.

“So I’ve made the right choice and going forward in the future, he’s a potential leader."

Adeyemi actually donned the skipper's armband (pictured above) during second-half of the 1-0 pre-season victory at Forest Green Rovers recently

Clark continued: “It has been in my thoughts for a while, but I didn’t want to put that pressure on him last year. It was his first season at the club, it was his first in the Championship and he had a tremendous season.

“I just think this is another way of telling him how important he is to us and to me as the manager."

Turning to Adeyemi's tender years, he added: "Steve Watson was telling me that when he played with Curtis Davies at West Brom, Bryan Robson made Curtis captain at 19 or 20.
“As I keep saying, age doesn’t matter. It’s about the responsibility and Tom is looked upon by the other players in the way he delivers himself.

“Not only is he a good player, he’s a very intelligent young man and he has the ability to lead by example in any walk of life in any situation. It was a no-brainer for me, really.

“I have other ones, I have got to say - Gavin Gunning and David Edgar, for example.

“I know David very well. He’s a very organised person when he’s out on the pitch. But David doesn’t need an armband or anything like that. He does that naturally, Gavin the same.

“I just feel that Tom is the right candidate for us at this time."

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