Rotherham United defender Akeem Hinds has signed a new one-year deal with the club.
The young defender experienced his first full year as a professional last term, and is looking to continue his development into his second year as a pro with the club.
A product of the Rotherham United Academy, Hinds has tasted first-team football with two appearances in the Checkatrade Trophy at the back end of 2017, but now wants to use his latest opportunity as a chance to kick on to the next stage of his development.
He told www.themillers.co.uk: “I think as the season has gone on, you can see the gaffer and the first-team staff have looked to give some of the younger lads a chance. Ben Wiles and his journey so far is a great example for me, so this is a great place to be at the moment as I look to kick on in the early stages of my career. I think I have a great opportunity now to work hard, and show that I am capable of getting into the first-team.”
Last season Hinds further aided his development with loan spells with Frickley Athletic and Hyde United.
The full-back also had the opportunity of training with the first-team on a weekly basis, and he says the step up has given him the opportunity to learn from a host of senior players, including Joe Mattock, who has passed on some valuable information on playing in the left-back role.
Akeem added: “There are some great people here for me to learn from. The likes of Richard Wood, Will Vaulks and Semi Ajayi to name a few are first class professionals who set the right examples at first-team level. I enjoyed learning from them last season, and training with them on a regular basis has given me a good idea of where I need to be.
“In my position, Joe Mattock is someone who is also a great role model. He's always giving me sound advice on the training field, and I'm lucky to be able to work with someone who has consistently set high standards over a long period of time.”
Hinds knows the importance of the upcoming pre-season, and is determined to use the time away as a springboard to help reach the heights he knows are required if he is to battle it out with some seasoned performers at professional level.
He continued: “I think now it is up to me to make sure I come back for the start of pre-season in good shape. I then need to impress the staff and we'll see what happens from there. Pre-season is the most important time for me now, it is a chance to put a platform together to work from, that'll be my main focus because a good pre-season can set you up for the following months of the campaign.”
Meanwhile, the club can confirm discussions are continuing with other first-team players with a retained list due to be released before Friday this week.