Defender Liam Wakefield shares his thoughts after having almost completed his first season as a professional footballer.
Liam, it’s been a big move up to the first team from the Youth Team what’s that been like for you?
It’s been a good transition. It’s a lot harder, faster and more physical with the first team but it’s about developing from the youth team playing with kids to playing with men.
Is there any area’s you have identified that you could work on or improve?
I think strength and growing up, as I’m still quite young, is the main area. As I said, it’s difficult playing physically grown men that are 28/29 years old. I’ve just got to build on that really.
I’m working in the gym on weights before I go into training and I go in again in the afternoon. I have to make sure I do this over quite a few days to build it up.
What has it been like being part of a senior squad for the first time?
It’s good being part of a squad as when you’re with the lads going to away games on the bus you feel part of a team. You learn to be around players and you’re more comfortable with your own players as a first-year pro and you get to know them better.
Is there extra pressure as a first year pro, trying to break into the team?
Yes, I’d say there is pressure but I think that helps; if you didn’t have pressure you wouldn’t be as determined. With that pressure you are trying to push yourself to be better and better and if you get rewarded with another contract it means you’ve proved yourself.
It must be good having the other lads with you who’ve also come up from the youth team. That must also help you develop.
It’s good to still be with some of the lads from the youth team so it’s just about keeping that going; they’re your close mates who you’ve been living with over the last 2 years. It’s good that we’ve come through together as we help each other.
It’s the final stages as your first year as a pro, how has it changed your life with the way you relax and how you eat?
I take it more seriously as the intensity of training is a lot faster. You’ve got to be at your best all the time if you can. You can’t come into training feeling tired as you had a late night last night. It’s also important to check what you eat and get the right things inside you so your energy levels are replenished.