Young keeper on debut and deal delight
Harry Burgoyne says the chance to have followed in the footsteps of some legendary Wolves goalkeepers is something he will never forget.
The Ludlow-born gloveman, who turns 20 next week, made his first team bow in the recent games with Fulham and Cardiff, and has now put pen to paper on a new contract which ties him to Molineux until at least the summer of 2019.
A whirlwind couple of weeks, and one which Burgoyne is hugely grateful for, but the hard work starts again very quickly!
“It feels good to be able to stay at a great club,” he says.
“Now I know that is done and my future is secure it is time to work hard and get better.
“You never know what is going to happen in football and things change very quickly.
“If someone had said a few week ago I would have played in the first team and signed a new contract I probably wouldn’t have believed it.
“We had been talking about a contract and I’m just glad to get it all sorted.
“It has been a great couple of weeks with so much experience to take from it.
“You are always working hard to try and get to the first team.
“When I was coming through here, the keepers were Wayne Hennessey and Marcus Hahnemann, and it feels like you are never going to get to that point.
“It has probably still not sunk it yet, to say that I have played in the same shirt as those guys, and going back even further to legends like Bert Williams.
“To have played in the same shirt and on the same pitch as names like those - it is quite special really.”
It has been an eventful journey already for Burgoyne, including loan spells with Telford, Corby and Lowestoft, as well as action for Wolves Under-18s and Under-23s.
Plenty of sacrifices made, and lessons learned, on the way to that Molineux bow.
“It is what I have worked for, what my family have put money into me to drive me and up and down the country and work hard – and that was my chance right there,” says the keeper.
“To go out and prove I had what it takes to play in the Wolves first team.
“There was that pressure, to make my family proud, to make everyone proud, it was great to play in such a big game and come away with a point as well.
“Then I went and played at Cardiff as well and it is very different away from home.
“Our fans were great to me at Molineux but were tucked away in a corner at Cardiff.
“When you are at home with the South Bank behind you it feels like you are 1-0 up already but away from home, Cardiff fans making noise behind most goals, it feels like you are under more pressure.
“It is something that I have learned as I continue to develop.
“I played at Stockport in front of two-and-a-half thousand on loan at Telford – the biggest crowd I had played in front of at that stage - and had a fair bit of stick.
“I was maybe wasting a little bit of time as we were 1-0 up and was having bottles thrown at me and all sorts!
“And I won’t repeat some of the stuff that was being shouted at me!
“It is something you have to block out of your mind – not rise to it and stay calm and deal with it.”
Going back to those sacrifices, Burgoyne admits he is indebted to the support of his family throughout his career so far.
Not least as his Dad ensured he could relax and be in tip top condition during his loan spell in East Anglia with Lowestoft last season.
“My Mum and Dad have been brilliant in supporting me, buying me gloves, boots early on in my career, and my brothers have been as well,” says Burgoyne.
“They would drive me to god-knows-where and come and watch whether it be a home game or Middlesbrough away and so on.
“Even if I wasn’t playing my Dad would still come and watch, even if I was on the bench.
“When I was at Lowestoft he was booking the Friday afternoons off work to take me there because he didn’t want me to get fatigued from driving.
“It has been great to have that support from my family over the years and they continue to be so and I am very grateful.”
Having been at Wolves since the age of 10, Burgoyne’s progress can be charted through the years, not only with performances but with his appearance on the Academy team photos on show at Compton Park.
There have been many ups and downs, as with any player coming through the ranks, but he believes he has learned a lot and come through at the other end a better player and a better person.
“I feel that every young person goes through a stage where they are maybe not concentrating on things as well as they should,” he says.
“I remember when I had a big growth spurt – it was after we had been out on a tour to Qatar – and I came back and was really ill and in bed for two weeks.
“I was really struggling when I came back.
“I didn’t seem to play very well – it was almost like my legs were too long to kick the ball!
“I think I had to show some maturity to come through that because I could quite easily have given up.
“And then as you go on, you learn things from people, you get closer to the first team lads, and people like Carl, Lonners, Emi and Tomasz when they were here– they help you to become a better person and not just a better player.”
First team debut, new contract, what now then as the popular keeper prepares to say goodbye to his teenage years?
“I’m going to work as hard as I possibly can and do everything I possibly can to be the best goalkeeper I can.
“I don’t want to have any regrets at the end of the contract – to say I should have done this or should have done that, and play as many matches as I can, whether that’s on loan or in the first team here.
“I just want to give myself the best possible chance that I can have.”
I’m going to work as hard as I possibly can and do everything I possibly can to be the best goalkeeper I can