Jags Honoured To Follow Nev
Defender ready to step up as full-time captain next season.
Phil Jagielka says he will relish the added responsibility of leading Everton on a permanent basis from the start of next season.
David Moyes has confirmed that the England defender will become the next official Club captain when Phil Neville brings the curtain down on his eight-year stay with the Blues at the end of the 2012/13 campaign.
Jagielka has already worn the armband when Neville hasn't played this season and admits the prospect of being the full time skipper is one which fills him with pride.
The central defender said: "It hasn't sunk in properly as technically the captaincy is not mine yet. Nev is still here and I am still vice-captain. It's not like he is retired or injured. He is going to play again.
"Just being captain when he has not been in the team has been a fantastic honour. Responsibility is something that I need. I'm still a bit of a big kid when it comes to messing around. It's strange and it probably won't hit me until next season when I haven't got someone else to hide behind.
“It's something that I have got to look forward to, even if I have to sit next to the manager for the team photo."
Jagielka admits that filling Neville’s boots will be difficult, such has been the 36-year-old’s influence on the current Everton squad.
However, the former Sheffield United man is confident he can lead by example and mature into his new role.
“Sometimes people don't understand what a fantastic captain and professional Nev has been,” added Jagielka. “He conducts himself right in every aspect, on and off the pitch.
“Maybe I can be a bit juvenile at times. That's the character I am, that's the character he is. I'm sure that we will be very different captains but hopefully we will have a very similar impact on the squad.
"I am 30 now, not 16, so the time has come for me to grow up. I'm quite loud around the place. I just basically act like a big kid for five of the seven days a week.
“That will still happen but if someone has got a problem, or they need help and advice, rather than hiding from it, I will try and help people out."