After being offered his first professional contract, youngster Jack Ryan couldn’t put his happiness into words after being told the news.
The forward spent much of the season playing under Nick Harrison for the U18s where he topped the goal scoring charts for the Academy side before going on loan to Stalybridge Celtic towards the end of the campaign.
And after being one of only two players to have earned a professional contract alongside Nick Anderton at the Club, Ryan was delighted that he had something to show for his efforts.
“It’s great to know that the hard work throughout the season has paid off,” Ryan told PNE.Com.
“Words can’t explain how I felt, but it was a good feeling that I was one of the lucky two.
“It was good to know that Nick (Anderton) got a contract as well but I was disappointed for the lads that didn’t get kept on as I’ve grown to be close mates with some of them during my time here.
“The lads that didn’t get contracts need to keep going and make sure it doesn't affect them and I'm sure they’ll find somewhere as they’re all good players.”
Similarly to Anderton, Ryan also acknowledged the part the Academy coaching staff had in ensuring he landed a pro deal.
“They’ve been a massive influence,” added Ryan.
“They’ve made sure I’ve kept myself grounded, and they gave me all the key information and motivation that I needed so they’ve been a huge help.”
It’s been well documented over the season the faith Simon Grayson has in playing youngsters and Ryan says he’ll use that as a motivational tool in his efforts to break into the side.
The 18-year-old continued: “It’s great news for us that we know he’s willing to give younger players the opportunity to play and perform.
“I work as hard as I can everyday anyway so I’ll just go in and show them what I can do and see what happens.
“My main aim for next season is to try to break into the first team, but if I can’t do that then I’ll just try and do whatever I can for the first team.”