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Weir handed captain's armband

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27 July 2005 | ©

David Weir has been named Everton's new captain for their first ever UEFA Champions League campaign.

In a week when midfielder Tim Cahill has shocked Goodison Park officials with his demands for a new contract, veteran Weir has been rewarded for his decision to sign a new one-year contract with the captain's armband.

There had even been debate over whether Cahill should have been named as skipper following his outstanding displays of last season.

But the contract row, and the fact that boss David Moyes has had clear-the-air-talks with Australian midfielder after contract talks became public, could well have influenced the decision.

Weir takes over from Alan Stubbs, who has left the club on a free transfer after rejecting his own new contract offer.

The Scot said: "It's a fantastic honour to be named as the official club captain. To play for a club like Everton is an honour so to be named club captain is an honour and it's something that I hold highly.

"There are a few people who have been captain recently. Obviously Alan Stubbs has left now but he was a good captain. Everton have had a great tradition of having club captains and hopefully I can add to that."

It is the second time the veteran defender has been handed the armband by Moyes in the space of three years after he replaced Duncan Ferguson at the start of 2002/03.

Last term Stubbs took over after the Scotland international was left out of the side, but now he is back intending to lead the Toffees into Europe.

He added: "It would be ideal to lift some silverware as captain this season. That would be very nice.

"We had success last year, relatively, so if this year we could take it on even further that would be great."

The situation over Cahill is strained, even though the player has claimed he doesn't want to leave the club.

But the contract wrangle has surprised many at Goodison Park. A source said: "It was the club who approached Tim, wanting to reward him for his efforts last term, not the other way around and now we end up with a situation like this."

Cahill was offered a significant rise with his contract still having three years to run.

But he rejected that offer and is believed to have asked for his wages to be trebled to over £40,000 a week, which would make him the club's highest earning player.

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