Brandon Gwinnutt on his professional deal
A right back by trade, Brandon Gwinnutt has shown an excellent attitude throughout the second half of this season and deservedly got the nod for a professional contract following some full-blooded and committed displays.
“I was shocked more than anything when the gaffer told me I was getting one," he said. “It still hasn’t sunk in. I keep saying to myself ‘I'm going to be a pro next year’ and it just doesn’t seem real."
“I didn't sleep at all the night before we were due to go in with the manager," he admitted.
"We'd won the youth area cup final the day before so I was still buzzing from that, and then I had the thoughts about whether I was going to get a contract in my head as well. I'm normally an early sleeper but I think it was about 3am before I did finally drop off.
“I was last to go into the manager’s office so I'd had to watch the others come out either heartbroken or buzzing. By the end of it I didn't actually want to go and see Greg because I was getting myself into a bit of a state. I didn't want to be heartbroken like some of the other lads, but I was the only one left. I was just so happy that it was good news."
“Greg [Abbott] told me he was 70% certain I wasn't going to get one until recently, which just shows that my hard work has paid off," he added. "He told me that as long as I get my head down he's confident that I can be a good player. That’s always nice to hear.
“I think things changed for me because before Christmas I wasn't enjoying my football. I wasn’t playing as well as I could and it didn’t feel right. Eric [Kinder] gave me a bit of a longer break over Christmas than the other lads, and my mum sat me down and had a really long chat with me.
“She told me to get back up here and to put the work in for her, because she thought I could be a decent player. She knew I'd regret it if I didn't get a contract because one day I’d look back at it and know that I hadn’t given it my all. I came back and worked hard, I put the effort in and it has proved to me that if you do things properly you will get the rewards."
“The four lads who got through last season are brilliant to look up to," he concluded. "They've shown us that if we work hard and we're good enough then we'll be playing in the first team – and that’s just crazy to think about. Even just going into the first team dressing room in pre-season will feel weird, but I just can't wait now.
“I want to work as hard as I can over the summer so I come back as fit as I can be. Hopefully that will mean I'll be in and around the first team.”