Midfielder Sam Adewusi was back in work early on Thursday morning to sign his first senior contract, moments before heading out to take part in his first training session as a professional footballer.
We spoke to him about what is a big season ahead following the conclusion of another punishing session at the end of pre-season day two.
“I’m very pleased that it’s all signed,” he said. “I’m the same as everybody, I just want to get cracking, get started and work hard now.
“Looking back to May, the last few days before the decisions were announced were really nerve-wracking. Nobody really had any insight about the decisions and who was getting a contract, or who wasn’t.
“We were all just hoping and praying that it would happen. I was quite hopeful and thankfully I ended up getting one. It was a massive relief because I felt that I’d worked very hard over the two years.
“Through my second year I did extra training and extra work in the gym, so I was happy when the offer finally came. Everybody keeps telling me that the hard work starts now, and that’s true.
“As soon as I got home my mum was telling me that this is just the start, and she was pushing me to work hard over the summer.
“Even she was saying that it’s about impressing the new manager. My whole family – mum, dad and everyone I know – they were all delighted for me.”
With two sessions already under his belt, he said: “The first few days have been tough but I made sure I was ready for it. The aim for me has to be to try to get into the team.
“The manager took me to one side and he said that he’s seen that I’m putting a lot into the sessions. He wants me to carry that on and to keep listening to what he has to say. He’s made it clear that he’s going to give me a chance if I show that I’m good enough. That’s a massive confidence booster.
“It did feel strange coming back to be with the first team, and not the youth team, and it’s definitely tougher. Everything is quicker and the intensity levels are higher. The friendly games are coming soon and I want to be as fit as I can be for those.
“There are still times when I have to pinch myself to make sure this is all happening because it’s a bit of a dream come true.
“I’ve set my target to get into the first team but I know I have to work hard to make that happen. There’s competition for places, especially in the centre midfield areas, so I’ll be giving it everything to be involved.”
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