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INTERVIEW: Can't describe how it felt

2 June 2014

Courtney Meppen-Walter on his first season with the club

We caught up with defender Courtney Meppen-Walter last week to get his thoughts on his first season in professional football, where he spoke first about the disappointment of relegation into League Two. 

"I can't describe how it felt to be relegated," he admitted. "My heart dropped when it was finally confirmed but I think we all knew what was coming from a few weeks out. 

"It's made worse because we know there were games we could and should have won. However, it's done now. We have to face up to the new challenge and make sure we get the results everyone wants when we start off next season."

"League Two is a different kind of challenge but it's one I feel ready for," he continued. "League One was a tough league but I think it could be even more interesting this time round. 

"I'm preparing myself for it as much as I can because I want to be part of putting it all right again. I'll make sure I come back as strong as I can be so I'm ready to go from day one."

"I had a meeting with Kav at the end of the season and he's told me what he wants and what he expects from me," he confirmed. "He isn't going to accept anything less than 100% from everyone and that's how it should be. 

"I'm really grateful for the opportunity I've been given and I'm determined to repay that by fighting for my place on the pitch. Hopefully we'll do well as a team next season and get ourselves back into League One at the first attempt."

"On a personal level I'm very proud of myself," he said. "I'm happy with the way things have gone because I've managed to play games when it could have been a lot worse for me. Hopefully next season will be better from a team point of view and we can all continue to improve. 

"The experiences I've had this season have been really helpful in terms of my development. I've found out how tough it is to be involved at first team level and I don't mind admitting it was a bit of a shock to me at first. 

"As I've played more games I've felt myself getting stronger and I know I've been learning a lot of different things about the game from Kav and the coaching staff. I've made mistakes but I've been allowed to learn from them, which has been really good.

"I can feel myself improving game by game so I just need to make sure I keep focused and keep working hard. Hopefully I can then go on to show people what I'm really all about." 

"I think the highlight of my season on a personal level was making my debut in front of my family," he told us. "My first professional goal against Port Vale was a bit special as well, but we lost the game in the end and that took the gloss off it a bit. It goes without saying it would have been fantastic if we'd got the three points to go with it. 

"Looking ahead, I'm hoping my next highlight will be promotion. If we can do that next season it would top everything. I want that for the fans more than anything. It was quite nerve-wracking to go out there when I first got here, with the situation I was in, but the supporters have been unbelievable with me. 

"I have to thank them for that because I feel really settled here now. Like I say, the best thing we could do for them is bring them the success they deserve. We'll be working hard to make that happen."

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