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INTERVIEW: Can't wait to get going

19 May 2015

Connor Hammell on signing his first professional contract

Midfielder Connor Hammell gave us his reaction to the signing of his first professional contract shortly after agreeing a one-year deal with the club on Tuesday morning.

"I'm absolutely chuffed to bits," he admitted. "It just shows that the last two years of hard work have paid off and I'm glad to get it done. I've been here since I was 10 so to finally get a professional contract is unbelievable.

"This is what I've always wanted to do. To become a professional footballer for the team you've always supported is amazing and a bit crazy. It's taken a few weeks for it to sink in, and I couldn't believe it when I was offered the contract, but I'm glad my hard work has paid off."

"I just want to get back in for pre-season now," he said. "The hard work really starts here so I'm coming in over the summer to keep myself topped up. I just want to get as much done as I can to give myself a head start for when we come back for pre-season.

"Alan [Moore] and Vince [Overson] have spoken to me and they've told me to keep doing the same things I've been doing in the youth team. I need to keep getting on the ball and doing the things I'm good at.

"The gaffer has told me it gets harder as you go up the levels and I know that. He's told me to be confident in what I'm doing and to the things I know I can. I know which parts of my game I need to improve and I'm trying as hard as I can to make that happen."

"The three appearances I've had for the first team have been so much different to playing on a Saturday morning at Creighton," he explained. "You've got to do the same things you normally do and try to block the crowd out.

"Coming on in the Hartlepool game was a bit crazy because it was a big crowd. You've got to concentrate on the game and get used to it because that's what I want to do every week."

Looking ahead to getting back together with the squad at the end of next month, he said: "It's obviously hard to keep your fitness up during the summer because you aren't training every day at a high intensity. I'll keep myself as fit as I can so I make sure I'm ready to come back and work hard.

"Going into the first team dressing room on the first day back is going to be strange. I won't know where to sit or anything! It's something I'm really looking forward to because it's what I've been working towards, so I just can't wait to get going.

"It's great to see the other lads who have come through the youth team route and who are in the first team squad now. It gives you that added bit of motivation because you know it could easily be you in their position this time next year. 

"I obviously played with Patrick [Brough] and Kyle [Dempsey] last year and they've both done really well this season. That's a real incentive because it shows it's possible if you get your head down and do everything right."

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