John Egan is hoping to catch Martin O'Neill's eye as he strives to improve and become involved more regularly at Sunderland.
Having been handed a squad number during the summer, 19-year-old defender Egan was then given the opportunity to experience life with the first team on their pre-season tour of South Korea.
The Republic of Ireland Under 21 international recognises that he must now continue to put the effort in if he is to make a significant breakthrough.
He told the club's official website: "It was great to be given a squad number at the beginning of the season but there's still a lot of hard work to be done in training to push and get in the actual squad.
"I'm just going to keep playing my football and hopefully keep improving and catch the manager's eye.
"Pre-season was great, I got the chance to come on a few times and spend time with the first team and I really enjoyed that.
"Now it's up to me to concentrate on getting in there on a regular basis."
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