Youngster Luke Burke has spoken of his desire to ‘earn my chance again’ in the first team after penning a contract extension at Wigan Athletic.
The 18-year-old defender, who started the campaign at right-back following a raft of injuries in that position, has committed his future to Latics until the summer of 2018.
And having had a taste of first-team football at such a young age, he says it’s only whetted his appetite for more of the same.
“I’m really happy to be able to extend my deal here,” Burke said.
“To get the chance to play in the first team was amazing.
“I know I have to work really hard to impress the new manager and show him what I can do.
“The leap in standards from Under-18s to first team was huge, and I think I improved massively with the experience of playing at that level and against top professionals.
“It’s just given me a taste for more, but I know that I need to work really hard to earn my chance again.”
Burke joined Latics as a 12-year-old after being released by Everton, and picked up the Football League Youth Alliance last term as skipper of the Under-18s.
He also won the Michael Millett award last term as best player in the Academy, and signed his first professional contract over the summer.
“Luke has made huge strides in what has been a whirlwind 12 months or so for him,” admitted Gregor Rioch, Wigan’s Academy chief.
“He was one of the stand-out performers last season for the Under-18s and, having been offered pro-terms, to find himself in the first team picture so early on in his career was a great boost.
“It has given him a knowledge of the standards he needs to reach.
“This is a recognition of all his hard work, so big congratulations to him and his family, and I am confident he can continue to progress.”