Grimsby Town goalkeeper James McKeown says he hopes the club can continue building and looking forward, after Michael Jolley’s side secured EFL Sky Bet League Two safety with a game to spare last season.
The 28-year-old, who today signed a deal which will keep him at the club until 2021, said the Mariners must continue to carry the momentum which was gained from Town’s five-game unbeaten run at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.
Speaking on iFollow Mariners, he said: “I’m happy to be here and be signing, and the future – there’s a chance of it being very good.
“I’m happy here, I enjoy it here, and I look at the way we finished last season and a big thing for me is I don’t want to just be a League Two player now for the rest of my career.
“I’m not saying that we’re going to win the league with 100 points next year, but I want to be attempting, at least, to be going upwards and not downwards.
“And the gaffer has got some ideas – you look at the way we finished last season and I think there’s potential here now, right at this moment, to go on and start to look up.
“We finished with a bit of momentum, and that’s something we have to take hold of now as a football club.
“I do think there’s enough here now to start to move on and we have to make sure, as a group of players and as a football club, that that’s what we’re trying to achieve.
“We need to make sure that we’re moving forward, regardless of how many knocks we get, and we need to stick together.
“You’re not always going to get it when you want it – you might have to fight and struggle a bit longer – but you can get there in the end if you do it together. It’s going to take everyone moving forward in the right direction.
“The gaffer’s been great this summer in terms of trying to get this deal done, and he’s been really understanding, honest, and open, and that’s a big thing for me. And hopefully now I can repay the faith that he’s shown in me.”
And McKeown, who has been at the club since 2011, expressed his delight at signing his new deal which will bring his Blundell Park stay to a 10-year anniversary.
He said: “You never know what’s a right or wrong decision – all I know is that I’m happy here, my family are happy here, and I enjoy playing for this football club.
“This football club has grown to mean a hell of a lot to me. I was 21 when I signed, no children, and now I’m 28 and I’ve got three children, so this has become my life.
“It’s become our home, and this football club has become my football club, so it’s a big thing for me to stay here.
“It’s a big relief. I’m lucky that I’ve had the opportunity where I knew I was going to have something – it was just weighing things up and making the best call, and trying to make it the best for myself and my family.
“You take a step back and realise that this is what you want to do, so why not do it? So I’m very pleased to be sat here.
“I’ve had a lot of messages and well-wishes the last few weeks, especially with us staying up coinciding with that and getting Player of the Year, which means a lot.
“It does mean a lot having that support – I’ve certainly felt it. I’ve been here a long time already and you have ups and downs, but that’s part of the relationship and how it grows.
“And when you have the good times, it makes it that more special because you’ve had that relationship, so I think that was a big thing.”
Watch this exclusive interview with Macca after he penned a new three year deal with the club.
Click on the play button to watch.