Academy product Kieron Olsen put pen-to-paper on his first professional deal this afternoon having worked hard through his two-year scholarship to earn an offer as his days as a youth player drew to a close.
Fresh from agreeing his one-year contract, he admitted that it was still very hard to take in.
“I’m just buzzing to be honest,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any other way to describe it.
“The weeks leading up to the decisions are scary, and because everyone is in the same boat no one can really say anything to make you feel better. You’ve just got to be patient. You know it’s either going to be a yes or a no, so you’ve just got to hope the decision is the one you want.
“On the morning of the decisions it really started to feel real. Everyone started going in, but I was one of the last ones, so that meant the other lads were coming out and I was hearing their decisions, which made me even more nervous.
“I still don’t think it’s sunk in yet. My mam and dad came with me on the day and they were buzzing, but I didn’t really know what to feel.
"There was a bit of mixed emotions, because some of the lads who I spent two years with had just been told they were being let go. I think it will probably sink in when we come back for pre-season and I’m in and around the first team every day.
“I don’t know how it will feel when we first come back in to be honest. I’m sure I’ll get used to it, and once I meet the new players who we bring in as well as the lads I already know then it’ll be fine. Within a couple of days we’ll all get to know each other anyway and I’ll be feeling confident."
“We’re obviously going to have a new manager to impress as well, but that will be the same for everybody," he said. "I’ll be working hard over the summer to make sure I come back nice and fresh and ready for the challenge.
“The three of us who got offered contracts are obviously proud of ourselves because we know it’s a hard game to get in to. The last two years have been tough, and although I’m a confident lad and I do back myself, there were ups and downs, so you can never be sure whether you’re going to get offered anything."
“I played in a couple of different positions for the youth team last season and I’ve spoken to Darren [Edmondson] about that being something we need to address going into next season in terms of where my best position is," he explained. "I’m happy to play anywhere, and I think it’s a good thing that I can play in a couple of positions because it might give me a better chance of being involved in the squad.
“If I had to say what my best position was I would probably say central midfield, towards the end of the season that was where I was playing, and I felt like I put in some good performances. I like getting on the ball and being involved in the game, and I think that position gives me the best chance to do that."
“Darren and Gav [Skelton] have just told me to keep doing what I’ve been doing really," he said. "I’ll work hard on and off the pitch, I’ll try and be well-liked and if I get a chance I’ll be doing my best to take it, but I know I’ll have to be patient.
“It’s been a strange summer but I’ve been keeping an eye on the website to see what is going on with the new manager and players. My Gran keeps texting me to tell me who the favourite for the manager’s job is as well! There will be big changes but it’s exciting, so I’ll just keep checking online to see what’s happening!
“I think my target is to be in and around the squad and hopefully be involved in the match day 18 before Christmas. I’ll have hopefully had a couple of appearances by then, and once I hit one target I’ll just keep making new ones to make sure I keep progressing.”
Click HERE to watch an interview with Kieron Olsen on iFollow United now.