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Last Updated: Monday, 24 May, 2004, 12:44 GMT 13:44 UK
McCartney's new deal
NI defender George McCartney
NI defender George McCartney has extended his contract at Sunderland
Northern Ireland defender George McCartney has signed a two-year extension to his current contract with First Division club Sunderland.

The new deal means McCartney will stay at the Stadium of Light until 2007.

McCartney was made captain by Sunderland boss Mick McCarthy last season after injuries to Jason McAteer and Paul Thirlwell.

"It's a real plus for me and for the club that he has signed up for the next three years," said McCarthy.

Belfast-born McCartney said he was already looking forward to the new campaign and the fight for a return to the Premiership.

"This has been a great year for me, playing regular first-team football and being given the captain's armband. " he said.

"I have been at Sunderland for six years now and I love it here. I have enjoyed working under Mick McCarthy and am delighted to be part of his long-term plans.

"I wanted to stay at the club, so it is great we have sorted out my contract."

Manager McCarthy wielded the axe following his side's failure to make it to the Division One play-off final.

McAteer, Thirlwell, Phil Babb and Joachim Bjorklund were among a list of eight professionals released by the Black Cats.

The club is still in talks with McCartney's Northern Ireland colleague Jeff Whitley as well as Tommy Smith, Darren Byfield, John Oster, Richie Ryan and Neil Teggart.

Sunderland release trio
21 May 04  |  Sunderland

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