Matty Done became the latest player to commit his future to Dale by signing a new two-year-deal at the club on Tuesday afternoon.
And the 25-year-old, who was out of contract this summer, says the side’s promotion to League One, having the opportunity to play with the same group of lads, as well as continuing to work with Manager Keith Hill all played a part in his decision to stay on at Spotland.
He told Dale Player: “[Being happy] is a major part of football and I think it’s a major part of any job that you’re in. As long as you’re enjoying it then you go to work and do well, and that’s the same here. It’s a great set of lads, it’s a great set of staff and it’s a very close group of lads and staff - every gets on. We come into work every day and enjoy it, and I think that shows on a Saturday. That was a massive part of me staying.”
Dale’s recent promotion to League One is Done’s first promotion, and he admits that the whole experience was quite surreal.
“It’s my first promotion as well as the first promotion for quite a lot of the other lads. Hendo, Rosey and a few others have had promotions in the past and I think their experience helped keep us levelled headed.
“It was quite surreal. We weren’t even expecting to go up that day [on the last home game of the season] because we were relying on other results. During the game the atmosphere was fantastic, after the game up in the media box with all the lads and having all the fans on the pitch was just brilliant, as well as going into Rochdale at night. We [Done and the rest of the lads] got together afterwards the Saturday night and said it was one of the best nights of our lives. I put that down to the fans and how good they have been all season.”
Work has already started for Done ahead of the new campaign as he and the rest of the players work through a close season programme set by the backroom staff. He says the players can’t afford to take the whole summer off.
“The majority of the lads have probably had a week/two weeks complete shutdown which is justified with how hard we worked last season with a small squad. I was back in last Wednesday with Ross [Preston, fitness and conditioning coach] and with Dan [Fradley, head of training and analysis]. I’ve always done it with the Gaffer - every time I’ve worked with him I’ve always been in during the off season just to keeping ticking over by doing things like power work and things that’ll help your speed. Away from the club, it’s up to myself and the lads to be doing cardio work and getting fit. Everyone thinks pre-season is for getting fit, but it's not, you can’t shut down for six weeks because it’ll l take you that length of time to get fit again so we just keep ourselves ticking over. It’s also good to come in and see the lads – you know, you get bored at home and coming in and working with the boys and Ross is a good laugh.”
Done was first brought to the club in the 2010/11 season, featuring for Keith Hill’s side in League One, and he’s looking forward to the challenges of the new season.
“Last time we were in League One there were massive clubs in there with the likes of Southampton and Sheffield Wednesday, and it’ll be the same again next season with the likes of Preston and Sheffield United in there. I’m looking forward to going to the places like that and playing against these football teams, and there’s no reason why we can’t go to football clubs and win.
“I think from the start we’re going to be favourites to go down just like we were last time, but I think that plays into our hands. Last year we weren’t favourites to get promoted and we went under the radar all the way and did it. I can’t see why we can’t try to emulate what we did the last time we were in League One and try to hit the play-offs, or at least the top ten.”
The full interview with Matty Done is available on Dale Player.