Phil Jagielka has said succeeding Phil Neville as Everton captain will enable him to mature from the "big kid" of Goodison Park into a better player.
The England international will take the captaincy from Neville on a permanent basis when the 36-year-old leaves Everton at the end of his contract this summer. The manager David Moyes believes the position will enhance the defender's performances for club and country, and Jagielka admits that process includes addressing his occasionally "juvenile" input to the squad.
Jagielka, now 30, said: "It hasn't sunk in properly as technically the captaincy is not mine yet. Nev is still here and I am still vice-captain. It's not like he is retired or injured. He is going to play again.
"Just being captain when he has not been in the team has been a fantastic honour. Responsibility is something that I need. I'm still a bit of a big kid when it comes to messing around. It's strange and it probably won't hit me until next season when I haven't got someone else to hide behind. It's something that I have got to look forward to, even if I have to sit next to the manager for the team photo."
Everton's next captain accepts it will be a huge task to replace Neville, who has been a major influence for Moyes since arriving from Manchester United in 2005, and that their leadership styles will contrast regardless of his new-found maturity.
"Sometimes people don't understand what a fantastic captain and professional Nev has been," said Jagielka. "He conducts himself right in every aspect, on and off the pitch. Maybe I can be a bit juvenile at times. That's the character I am, that's the character he is. I'm sure that we will be very different captains but hopefully we will have a very similar impact on the squad.
"I am 30 now, not 16, so the time has come for me to grow up. I'm quite loud around the place. I just basically act like a big kid for five of the seven days a week. That will still happen but if someone has got a problem, or they need help and advice, rather than hiding from it, I will try and help people out."
Jagielka shares Moyes's opinion that the captaincy will have a positive effect on his career. He added: "I think so. The manager thinks that is the next progression for me and he hopes that will be the case. If I get sacked after a couple of months, you will know why!
"I was vice-captain at Sheffield United when I was a really young lad. I also captained the youth team and I enjoyed that job. Right now, I will be standing alongside Nev. It's not as if he has stopped playing and he deserves to go out on a high."
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