Matty Gillam is looking to use the experiences gained during his first season as a professional, as he gets ready to go into the 2018/19 campaign.
The teenage forward, whose contract was due to expire this summer, penned a new two-year deal on Friday, and he says these past 12 months have been a big learning curve for him.
“I’ve never experienced anything like it [the last day great escape]. It was surreal having that happen during my first year as a professional,” said Gillam.
“The results, especially during the second half of the season, didn’t always reflect our performances. There were games where we should have been drawing or winning, but we’d end up dropping points because we weren’t seeing them out, but in the end, we managed to stay up. There was always a belief that we could avoid relegation – we never thought we were going down - and it showed on the final day as everything fell into place for us.
“When you play for a first team, every game is a must-win game, whereas when you’re playing as a Youth Team player, although you obviously want to win, nothing depends on it, but here, and in particular this season, everything depended on it because we wanted to stay in League One. Being involved in that has given me the chance to learn how to deal with and get an important understanding of those types of pressures, which can only stand me in good stead.
“I’ve got to remember everything I’ve learned and all the experiences I’ve had this year and take them into next season. Scoring on my full league debut against Charlton was a really good moment for me, as was contributing as a sub towards the end of the season. It all counts and it all adds up.”
Having been offered a two-year deal, Gillam is grateful for the opportunity to extend his stay at the club.
“I’m really happy to have been offered a new contract at the club and I’m pleased to have signed on for another two years. It’s a good feeling knowing I’ve made enough of an impact to get myself another deal.
“I want to be in the Gaffer’s future plans and I want to get in the team. I want to be starting more games than I’m starting on the bench, so over the two years, I think I’ve got enough time to try and cement myself into that place, but I want to do it sooner rather than later.
“I need to be at optimal level come the start of the season, because that’s what required to play here, so I’ve already started making sure that I’m keeping fit over the summer.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow.