Seamus Coleman says being Everton captain is an honour he will “never take for granted” and revealed the family inspirations that have served to shape him as a leader.
The Irishman succeeded Phil Jagielka as Everton Club captain last summer, the centre-back having left the Blues for Sheffield United after 12 years of stellar service at Goodison Park.
Coleman’s exemplary professionalism, motivational qualities and hunger to win made him a natural choice to assume the armband.
The 31-year-old concedes leading out Everton at Goodison would have seemed a far-fetched ambition when he joined the Club from Sligo Rovers for £60,000 back in 2009.
Eleven years and 310 first-team appearances later, Coleman explains the deep pride he feels in joining a celebrated group of players who have held the Everton captaincy.
“It is something l’ll never take for granted,” he said.
“It’s probably not something I ever thought would happen.
“I came here as a 20-year-old as, I suppose, a reserve player, desperate to do well.
“I had a two-year contract which I looked at as a two-year trial, really, wanting to impress.
“To now be Everton captain is a massive honour for myself and my family.
“I’ve got my own standards that I live by and to captain this club carries responsibility.”
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Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin recently stated Coleman “is a great example in terms of how to conduct yourself as a professional”.
Coleman, who also skippers the Republic of Ireland, explained how his grounding in his hometown of Killybegs, Co. Donegal, has been key to the success he has achieved.
And when the defender was first given the Everton captaincy, he was keen to show his appreciation to an individual instrumental in the development of his character.
“I gave my mum my first armband and thanked her for all she’s done,” Coleman revealed.
“We’ve got a brother back home, he’s got special needs. My mum and dad have been incredible for him.
“My mum has been our leader at home, so I said that to her when I gave her the armband. ‘I was the leader today but you’ve been our leader’.
“For me, it always comes back to family.”
Coleman has been an enthusiastic participant in Everton in the Community’s outreach work during the coronavirus pandemic, making phone calls to vulnerable and isolated supporters to lift spirits and provide a friendly voice to talk to.
His efforts are part of the Club’s Blue Family campaign, which is providing vital assistance to some of the most at-risk members of the community during this challenging period.
Coleman’s support is reflective of a player who has given his wholehearted backing to Everton’s charitable activities ever since joining the Toffees.
“Over the years, Everton in the Community has grown massively,” Coleman added.
“What the volunteers do for the people is incredible.
“The quote the charity uses, and it’s a great one, is 'Everton in the Community doesn’t change lives, it saves lives'. It saves so many people.
“For us, as players, to get involved, I’m very proud and it’s very humbling as well.
“The players really buy into what Everton in the Community does. I’m very proud of it, the Club is very proud of it and the people who help and volunteer should be very proud as well.”