Fresh from being offered his first professional contract, Nick Anderton spoke exclusively to PNE.Com on what it’s like to finally make it as a professional footballer.
Along with team-mate Jack Ryan, the duo have both been offered one year deals with an option for a further 12 months after featuring heavily for the Academy side last season.
The full back has already enjoyed a taste of first team football at the end of the last campaign featuring for championship winning Chorley on loan.
But despite the youngsters delight in being awarded a contract, he admits there is work to be done if he wants to feature in Simon Grayson’s first team plans for next season.
On being offered a contract, Anderton said “It’s something I’ve been working towards since I’ve started playing football, but now it’s come it’s still hard to believe for me, but I’m over the moon.
“Now I’ve been offered a contract, the hard work really starts.
“Obviously it’s hard at Academy level, but this will be a completely different level and a lot harder so I’ve just got to get my head down and listen to others around me.
“I know there’s a lot of competition for places, but there’s no reason why, if I’m fit and well, I can’t try and break in to the team.
“Seeing Josh (Brownhill) and Alan (Browne) who are both still young playing for the first team just shows you’ve got to grasp the opportunity.
It’s been a productive year for Nick Harrison’s side with runs in the FA Youth Cup and Lancashire Cup, coinciding with a mid-table finish in the league, and Anderton was quick to heap the praise on his coaches and his team-mates for helping him get this far.
“Nick (Harrison) and Andy (Fensome) have done everything for me.” Anderton continued.
“When I was a first year they helped settle me in and gave me really good feedback on what I could improve and how I could do it.
“But they also let me play and let me show what I could do and I’m just really thankful to them for giving me the opportunity.”
“There’s a good group of second years who unfortunately haven’t been offered a contract, but they’ve shown throughout the season that they’re still very good players and I know a couple of them will still go on to get contracts elsewhere.”