Matt: 'I Want To Establish Myself'

By SFC Media time Wed 04 Jul Club

Saints youngster Matt Young is hoping to cement a place in the Club's Development Squad this season after signing his first professional contract.

The 18-year-old became one of four players to pen full-time contracts with Southampton at the end of their scholarships in May.

Young skippered Saints' Under 18 side as they finished second in their FA Premier Academy League group, and is now looking to continue his progress in Martin Hunter's Under 21 team.

"I've recently signed a professional contract so I want to establish myself in the development [squad]," Matt told Saints Player.

"I want to push on from there and try to prove myself, and to get a start in the development team week-in, week-out."

Four players with whom Young played at Under-18 level last year - James Ward-Prowse, Luke Shaw, Calum Chambers and Jack Stephens - have been promoted to the Saints First Team for the 2012-13 campaign.

And, as well as establishing himself in the Development Squad, the full-back is keen to follow in the footsteps of that quartet and break through into the First Team in future.

"The four boys that have gone up have proved themselves well, and that's obviously what I'll try and do," he insisted.

"I want to try and push on towards the First Team by proving myself in Martin's team and get better and better.

"With those boys, it's a plus sign that the Club are looking through the young players."

The Club's youngsters are currently hard at work at the Staplewood training ground as they prepare for pre-season fixtures at both Under-21 and Under-18 levels.

And Young says he is eager to get stuck into the coming season to put the disappointment of missing out on top spot in their Premier Academy League group behind him.

"We had all our off-season programmes we had to keep to, but I'm buzzing to be back," he beamed.

"In the past two years we have been pipped to the title by one point by Fulham. It is disappointing because we've come so close, but we will learn from it.

"We're young and learning so we will just have to push on now and take that with us.

"The atmosphere is good and everyone is on a bit of a buzz. Everyone is raring to go for the start of the season - we can't wait.

"All the hard work that we've put in during pre-season - and coming in three weeks early to do a technical programme - will build us up to get out there and play.

"It'll be good to get going and get a run out."

Saints' Development Squad kick off their summer schedule with a friendly at Sholing FC next Tuesday. For details of the full Under-21 pre-season campaign, click here.

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