MATTY WATERS wants to follow in Sam Hughes’ footsteps at Chester after putting pen to paper on a new two-year deal.
The 19-year-old has been rewarded for a promising campaign with a fresh contract which ties the highly-rated midfielder to the club until June 2019.
Waters, who has progressed through Chester’s academy, now wants to claim a regular spot in the first-team, much like defender Hughes did last season.
Out-of-contract Hughes also came through the Blues’ youth set-up and the 20-year-old is set to seal a move to the Football League, with a host of clubs interested in securing his signature.
“I look up to Sam, he’s such a nice lad and he’s shown how far you can get in a short space of time,” said Waters, who made 16 appearances last season. “He’s going to go a long way in the game, it looks like he’s going to get his move into the Football League and he deserves it.
“I hope I can take similar steps down that road in the future but I know I’ve got a long way to go before I can even think about something like that. My focus is on helping Chester and trying to start next season in the best possible way.”
Waters believes a two-year deal is a ‘massive’ boost for his confidence and wants to reward boss Jon McCarthy for the faith shown in him.
“I’m delighted to be staying at Chester for the next two seasons,” he continued.
“Last season was a good chance for me to stake a claim for a place in the team, and I’m still learning all the time. I’ve got time on my side so hopefully I can kick on over these next two years.
“I’d like to think I gave a good account of myself when I played last season, when I got the chance. I’d have liked to get more minutes, I think every young player is the same, but sometimes you’ve got to be patient.
“A two-year deal is massive but I know nothing is guaranteed in football. I’m taking nothing for granted, I’ll be working hard over the close season to get myself in the best possible shape for pre-season so I can hit the ground running.
“It’s a brilliant club to be at for a young player. We’ve got a manager who puts his trust in young players and he will back you, even if you have a poor game he will support you.
“The gaffer has to be one of the hardest working people in the league, he never stops and that attention to detail helps us players.”
Waters is just one of several core members of the Blues’ squad to commit their futures to the club, with the likes of Ryan Astles, Alex Lynch, James Akintunde, Craig Mahon and player/asssistant manager Tom Shaw all signed up for 2017/18, as well as new signings Harry White and Nyal Bell.
“It’s good to see the lads who have been kept on. We let ourselves down towards the end of last season, but there were good moments in that season and we’ve got to put the hard work in now to make sure we start next season well,” Waters said.
“It’ll be good to get back in and see the lads, and also meet the new boys. I’ve played against Harry (White) and I know he’s got a good scoring record against Chester, so hopefully he can convert that into goals for us!
“I know Nyal is a powerful lad too so hopefully we’ve got some good options up front and more to come.”
The teenager, who can play on the left wing or in the hole behind a central striker, has been busy in the gym in an attempt to increase his strength to compliment his fine touch and agility, which was evident to all who saw him play last season.
“I’ll be doing gym work, getting out and doing as much ball work as possible, just practicing technique,” he added. “It’s about striking a balance between that gym work, putting on some muscle, but also keeping my agility, you don’t want to lose that.
“You look at someone like (Eden) Hazard in that position, he is strong but also fast when he’s on the ball. I want to prove myself in that position so I’ve got a lot of hard work to do.
“The gaffer is looking at bringing in a strength and conditioning coach so that would help us a great deal too.”