Matt Kilgallon thrilled with Sunderland switch

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Sunderland new boy Matt Kilgallon is relishing the chance to test himself in the Barclays Premier League.

The 26-year-old central defender completed a whirlwind switch to the Stadium of Light from Sheffield United last night and immediate set his sights on establishing himself in the top flight.

Kilgallon told the club's official website, "The Premier League is definitely the place every player wants to be. I was ready to kick on and I wanted to play in the top flight.

"I'm at a club now which has the ambition to stay in the Premier League for years to come and I want to be a part of that."

Kilgallon had signalled his intention to see out the remainder of his contract with the Blades after Newcastle's interest in him failed to result in a move earlier this month.

The York-born player, who has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal, admitted the call from Sunderland came out of the blue.

He said: "I'm really pleased. I wasn't sure what was going on, it happened really fast.

"I came here and met the gaffer, saw the facilities and thought, 'This is for me'.

"I was out having something to eat when I got a phone call saying Sunderland were interested.

"I almost choked on my pasta! I thought, 'Yes, let's see what they have to say', and now I'm here."

Kilgallon admitted the decision to leave Bramall Lane after three years was not a difficult one, with the opportunity to work under Sunderland manager Steve Bruce simply too good to turn down.

He said: "Sheffield United are a great club and I had some great times there, but I'm ready to go on to the next level now and hopefully I can do that here.

"The gaffer was a centre-half and he wasn't bad, was he? That was a big thing for me. Hopefully he can make me into a better player. I want to learn.

"The fan base and the facilities are excellent here too. It was quite an easy decision in the end.

"Sunderland have some really good players here already. It will be interesting to train with them and hopefully it will improve me too. I'm looking forward to it."