It’s been a week to remember for Fleetwood Town’s Richard Wright.
First came the news from boss Graham Alexander that Town were offering him a professional contract.
Now the 18-year-old midfielder has been recognised as the club’s young player of the season, rounding off a whirlwind seven days.
“I can’t describe how I’m feeling, I’m buzzing.” admitted the Fleetwood-born teenager.
“All my family are so proud of me. I only live round the corner, I’ve lived in Fleetwood all my life. It’s a big thing, not just for me but for the town to see local lads breaking through to the first team.”
Like first-team keeper, captain and triple club award-winner Scott Davies, Wright was a pupil at Cardinal Allen High School in the port. It’s a link the young hopeful is all too aware of
“Hopefully I can achieve something like Scott has done for the club,” he said. “He’s set a great example for us all.”
Winning a first professional contract with League Two Fleetwood hasn’t come without sacrifices for Wright, who has had to dedicate himself not only to his football but to his BTEC studies.
“It’s been such hard work,” he admitted. “All my mates have been going out and I’ve had to say no. “It’s my job and it’s paid off. It’s not just the football, it’s the academic side – if I don’t do my college work I’m not able to train with the first team, so the two really do go hand in hand.”
Wright was at the fans’ awards evening on Saturday to pick up his trophy, watched by many of the club’s first team and chairman Andy Pilley.
It was a fantastic experience for Wright. He said: “The crowd seemed pretty happy, that makes me happy - to have that recognition from the supporters, it’s great to see.”
Now it’s just a case, for the teenager, of knuckling down and putting in the work to try to win his chance in the first team.
One man giving Wright hope that can happen is Jamie Allen. Last year he was awarded a pro contract by Micky Mellon, this summer he is celebrating winning Fleetwood’s goal of the season award, having made four appearances in The Football League.
Wright said: “I’m just going to try to keep my head down and work as hard as I can to break through.
“Jamie Allen has shown that if you work hard in training and you can impress the manager, Chris Lucketti and Craig Madden, you can get your chance. It’s about putting in that work.” And Wight insists working alongside Town’s League Two stars will help his own game.
He said: ”There’s a lot of different levels of experience on that training ground.
“There are young players coming through and players who have been there and played at a very high level.
“It’s just a privilege to work with them.”