Sunderland defender John Egan is delighted with his progress this season.

Egan says being named as the Republic of Ireland's Under-19 Player of the Year is one of the biggest plaudits of his career so far.

"It was a big honour to even be nominated for the award, so I was delighted when my name was called out as the winner," Egan told safc.com.

"Going to the Euros was a perfect start to the season and we did well there, so I came back with a lot of confidence.

"It was a great experience leading the side out against some of the best teams in Europe. We played against some quality players who will be playing Champions' League football in a few years, so it was a great test.

"Getting to the semi-finals was a fantastic achievement in itself.

"My next aim now is the under-21 squad and hopefully I can impress. I know a couple of lads who are in there now."