Matthew Blake thrilled with new Swansea City contract
Matthew Blake is thrilled to have secured his Swansea City future by signing a new two-year contract, and is determined to push himself into the first-team reckoning.
The left-back put pen to paper on a deal that will keep him in SA1 until at least 2021, after making 13 appearances in all competitions for the under-23s last term.
The 19-year-old had his injury frustrations to deal with, but showed his talent with some fine displays and a superbly-taken free-kick in a draw with Arsenal.
Now, he is ready to push on.
“I am thrilled. It is great for me to be having another two-years," he said. It takes the pressure off knowing I can get my head down and focus on developing, moving forward and trying to perform.
“Young players here have now been given new confidence with the number of players who have progressed to the full side. I can’t remember a time when we have pushed so many young players through.
“The aim is clear for players like myself. Work hard and get yourself within touching distance if not into the first team."
Blake reported for pre-season training along with the rest of the Swans' development squad on Wednesday.
But the teenager kept himself active over the off-season by turning out to play cricket for local club Ynystawe.
“I play every summer and this off-season has been no different for me," he said.
“Now that pre-season has started back I am going to have to be more selective of when I am playing. I think I still have a few more games in me.
“It is a sport I love next to football and I feel it keeps me active, fit and healthy over the summer. All the lads are active over the summer and I still do my football related programmes to keep me fit but I do feel I come back a little sharper.
“It keeps my brain active as much as the body ticking over. I enjoy that all rounder sporting aspect of my career that I am not looking to give up any time soon."