Middlesbrough defender Dael Fry has spoken of his delight and pride at captaining the club in their 2-2 draw against Bristol City last Saturday.
The 22-year-old centre-back told The Northern Echo that being given the armband for his boyhood club was “what dreams are made of“, having only found out upon boarding the team bus to Bristol the day before.
It was his first appearance for the team since tearing his hamstring at the end of last season, as reported by Teesside Live, and Fry praised manager Jonathan Woodgate for his patient approach during that convalescence.
He told The Northern Echo: “The gaffer, who’s had injuries, wasn’t rushing me back. He was saying, ‘Take your time’, and for me that was amazing.”
He served notice of his potential on his debut four years ago, being named Man of the Match in a draw against Preston, although he did not play for ‘Boro in the Premier League in 2016/17, having been loaned to Rotherham that season.
He became a regular in Middlesbrough’s line-up last season, making 34 Championship appearances and 39 in all competitions, and was given the captaincy for last weekend’s match in the absence of nominal skipper George Friend.
Fry delivered a largely excellent performance, winning an incredible 14 aerial duels against Bristol City as well as winning two tackles, making seven clearances and two interceptions. [via WhoScored.com]
However, the defender told The Northern Echo that he felt he was at fault for the Robins’ first goal, blaming himself for a brief lapse of concentration that led to Kasey Palmer finding the net.
Club captain Friend, who like Fry, has also been dogged by injury since April, recorded match averages of 3.2 successful aerial duels, 1.6 tackles, 0.8 interceptions and 2.8 clearances last season.
If Fry has his eyes on becoming Middlesbrough’s permanent captain in the future, he seems to have made a strong case for himself with his performance at Ashton Gate on Saturday.
His defensive statistics from the match were superb, while his honesty in taking responsibility for Bristol City’s first goal shows an innate desire to raise his standards even further.
His solid statistics from last season showed that his performance on Saturday was no fluke and, with Friend turning 32 in October, the time could soon come for the armband to be passed on.
The mature Fry, who skippered Boro in the UEFA Youth League in 2015/16, could be the perfect candidate for the role.
Middlesbrough fans, do you think Fry has the qualities needed to be Friend’s successor as club captain? Share your views in the comments section below!
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