HAVING signed a new deal with the club, defender Tom Flanagan is ready to repay Nigel Clough’s faith in him.
The 25-year-old signed a new two-year deal with the Brewers and despite missing pre-season says he’s match fit and ready to go and thinks he will improve his game again this season.
Flanagan said: “It could be a really big season for me on a personal level and hopefully for the club as well. Everyone is still talking about how well we did last year and with the new players we have signed and the ones who have stayed on from last year we all know it’s a really big opportunity to better ourselves.
“I have been training with a Conference side in order to keep fit. I wasn’t sitting at home doing nothing, I was taking care of myself so having been given this opportunity I am in position to repay the manager as soon as possible. That means if he needs me in the next couple of weeks I’m definitely ready to go.”
Last season was Flanagan’s first in the Championship and he not only established himself in the Burton Albion starting line-up but also forced his way into contention with Northern Ireland.
He said: “Everything coincided with me coming to Burton Albion with all honesty. I wasn’t in the picture with the Northern Ireland senior team until I signed for the club and then we made it into the Championship and I played quite a lot at the end of last season and it forced the Northern Ireland manager’s hand which I wanted it to do.
“Now I’m pleased to be back and I just want to start this season how I ended last season.”
The Brewers have added two more Northern Ireland internationals to the squad this summer in the shape of Matty Lund and Liam Boyce.
Flanagan said: “It’s great press for the football club to have that. I’m pleased they did sign as I was away with them with Northern Ireland and they asked me about the club and I said they should bite the manager’s hand off as it’s a good place to play football.”
Flanagan now has high hopes of a great season ahead at Burton Albion and with Northern Ireland.
“Hopefully, having resigned I can continue to improve as a player and this season can be a stepping stone for the whole team to move further up the league and not leave it to the second last day of the season to be safe.
“With the new recruits, we will be a team to be reckoned with, especially at home. It’s only my second season in the Championship and I have learned a lot and I can bring that into play this season and there will be others who can do that as well. We have more experience as a team this season and that can only help us.”