DEFENDER Ben Hart is delighted to have signed an extension on his contract until the end of the current season - and wants to continue learning from each new experience coming his way.
The 19-year-old initially signed a six-month professional deal earlier in the summer and has now extended that until the end of the season.
Since being recalled from a loan spell at Kidsgrove Athletic, who are managed by former Brewer Ryan Austin, Hart has made his professional debut for the Brewers, coming on as a substitute in our 3-1 win over Rochdale, and then entering the fray twice more against Tranmere Rovers and Accrington Stanley.
That last appearance saw Hart play the full second half at the Wham Stadium in a difficult encounter, and the young defender says this season, and these recent games, have been a real learning curve for him.
“I’m really, really happy to have signed the new contract - I’ve been here since I was 16 and really enjoyed every minute of it,” Hart told burtonalbionfc.co.uk.
“The situation now is really good with the manager giving me another contract and another opportunity, especially the last few weeks.
“(Before Rochdale) the manager just came up to me in training and said ‘we’re recalling you from your loan and you’re on the bench’!
“I was expecting to play for Kidsgrove, but it was another great experience getting another eight minutes and even then I felt like I was learning stuff.
“That’s what I should be prepared for. It’s never easy and I don’t want it to be easy - you want it to be tough.”
Hart felt his loan at Kidsgrove, for whom he made 13 appearances, was another one of those learning experiences.
“If I had a question for Ryan he’d always give me good feedback,” said Hart. “Even if I wasn’t aware of something, he’d help me with it and help me improve on my game.
“Training against players like (striker) Anthony Malbon was great - he’s such a great goalscorer.
“Those lads at Kidsgrove really helped me deal with the physical side of the game - I learned a lot there.”
Hart is the latest Brewers Academy graduate to make their first-team bow, joining a squad comprising the likes of Joe Sbarra, Ben Fox, Callum Hawkins, Reece Hutchinson and John Brayford.
“When I was a second year scholar, Dan Robinson, Sam Rose and Paul Reynolds helped me go on the right route,” Hart said of the Academy.
“As a scholar, I had an injury in my second year which was pretty bad, and kept me out for about half the season.
“But Sam and Dan kept me on the right track with my recovery.
“I spoke to Paul about it and how I could deal with it, what should I be doing, and he just said to keep your head straight and keep impressing.”
Burton Albion can confirm that, following the expiration of his contract, defender Nathan Morley will leave the club.
We wish Nathan well in his future career.