Goalkeeper Oliver Lombard has earned his first professional contract and he sees the next year as a big one for his personal development.
The youth team stopper, 18, has signed a one-year contract, with the option for a second year, and having missed almost a year of development in the gym and additional sessions, due to Covid, he sees 2021/22 as a great opportunity.
“Hopefully I can get in the gym and put a bit of weight on – it will help me develop in men’s football and that can be one of the main things for me,” he told iFollow PNE after putting pen to paper.
“There has been a lot missed, but there should be time next year when I can back into it in full and improve.
“The work starts again now. It is a year’s contract and I have to work hard this year and try and get myself another one.”
The local custodian says that the coaches have played a big part in his development and now he must continue to work hard: “This is 100 per cent what you work towards as a young player,” he continued.
“It has come and now I need to keep on working hard and keep on getting better and hopefully improving, so that in the future I can challenge for a place in the first team.
“The coaches do a lot for you. They do a lot every day, planning sessions; they are there a lot earlier than us and they have helped me come on, as a person as well, bringing the social side to it, as well as football.
“The last year has been hard. There was a lot of running in pre-season and less football, with only one session a day this year, so it was hard.
“But it has come to this point now and it is rewarding. To have put the hours in and earn that professional contract,” he added.