'It will stay with me forever' - Stuart Dallas on Northern Ireland pride and stellar Leeds United season
Leeds United's Stuart Dallas says captaining Northern Ireland tonight will stay with him forever.
The 30-year-old will take the armband for his country this evening for only the second time in the absence of regular skipper Steven Davis.
Dallas has enjoyed a stunning campaign for the Whites in his debut Premier League term in West Yorkshire, scoring eight goals from a number of positions under Marcelo Bielsa.
Northern Ireland will now play Malta and Ukraine to round off the season with two friendlies before the summer break.
"It means everything to me," Dallas said of captaining his country.
"It's nice to represent your country but to captain it will stay with you forever. It probably would have been easy (not to come), but that's not what I'm about.
"Where we are as a group, I think it's important as senior players you set an example to the younger players coming in.
"We want to have the right culture and that means turning up to these games.
"We're in a privileged position, it's a privilege and an honour to be here, and I enjoy coming and meeting up with the boys."
Dallas earned praise from manager Ian Baraclough for joining up with the squad after a season in which he gave so much to the cause at Elland Road.
“It was a good season for me, and for the club it was a brilliant first season back in the Premier League,” Dallas added.
“Obviously the individual awards that came along with that were nice, although I’m not sure about goal of the season, it was more a moment, but I’ve had a great season.
“I’ve been fit, that’s the main thing, and that’s why I want to come here to try to continue that.”